SAN'A, Yemen // One protester was killed and five others injured when police opened fire on a rally in the port city of Aden and detained dozens, opposition members and a local doctor said today. Thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets starting yesterday in throughout Yemen's south to commemorate the quashing of a 1994 uprising that sought the region's independence. Southerners complain of discrimination by the northerner-dominated government. Security forces deployed heavily in Aden today to prevent protesters from taking to the streets.
Still, protesters went out, shouting: "Revolution, revolution, O south." Some protesters pelted the soldiers with stones, according to witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared government retribution. Local opposition leader and parliament member Nasser al Khabagi in Aden said police opened fire to disperse the crowd, and fired on Walid al-Sunidi, a movement leader in his 20s, as he resisted arrest outside a local hotel. Mr al Sunidi died from head wounds, a doctor at Aden's al Mansoura hospital said, on condition his name not be used because of the tension in the city. No official comment was immediately available on the incident.
Mr al Khabagi said the arrest campaign brings the number of people detained since July 1 to around 250. Yemen's south has been rocked by violent demonstrations by disgruntled southerners calling for reform and power-sharing. Although north and South Yemen united in 1990, rebels launched a failed bid for independence in 1994. Local residents and security officials in the town of Dali, north of Aden, said a protest in the area today was dispersed when security fired tear gas, injuring three people. Two security were injured when pelted with stones, the security official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to news media.