Tribal chief’s killing stirs violence in Yemen

Said Ben Habriche was among six tribesmen killed on December 2 in fighting that erupted when his bodyguards refused to hand over their weapons to soldiers at a checkpoint.

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ADEN, YEMEN // Yemen has seen increased unrest in recent days following the killing of a tribal chief in the south of the country.

Said Ben Habriche was among six tribesmen killed on December 2 in fighting that erupted when his bodyguards refused to hand over their weapons to soldiers at a checkpoint. Two soldiers also died.

Protests have flared as Ben Habriche was to be buried on Saturday. Protest organisers are pressing authorities to hand over the suspect accused of killing him and to provide jobs for southerners in the security forces and oil sector.

Southern grievances are the main issue obstructing Yemen’s national dialogue aimed at sealing a reconciliation following a 2011 revolt that led to the ouster of the long-time president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Tension also spiked in northern Yemen, where the Sunni Islamist Al Islah party accused Shiite rebels known as Huthis of abducting one of its members as fighting raged.

* Agencies