One protester killed in S Yemen landmine blast

19:16, February 24, 2011      

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At least one protester was killed and others were wounded when a landmine exploded on Thursday while tens of separatist protesters were marching in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a local police official told Xinhua.

The accident took place in Lodar town, hours after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered his security forces to protect the protesters.

"The protest rally halted immediately after the blast as the killed and injured people were rushed to the hospital," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The reason behind the blast is still unknown, but protesters blamed it on the security authorities.

Some of the protesters shouted slogans against the national unity, demanding the south to be seceded from the north.

Northern and southern parts were unified in 1990 according to a deal between the People's General Congress and the Yemeni Socialist Party. However, the deal fell apart, leading to a crisis between the two allies, which developed into a civil war in 1994.

Nowadays, voices rise in south Yemen where secessionist sentiments are simmering, calling for disengagement from the north and the restoration of the southern state.

Inspired by the Egyptian popular uprising, thousands of Yemenis staged daily protest rallies through streets of major cities across the country demanding the end of the 33-year rule of President Saleh.

Source: Xinhua
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