Five killed in south Yemen clash

Filed on June 10, 2011

ADEN, Yemen - Three Yemeni soldiers and two southern militants were killed in a gunfight on Friday near the town of Habilayn, a local official said.

The clash broke out as the Southern Movement gunmen attacked an army checkpoint west of Habilayn, in Lahij province, the official said. He said two assailants were killed as soldiers fired back.

The Southern Movement is an umbrella group of southern factions whose demands range from social and political equality to total secession from the north.

Many residents of south Yemen, which was independent from 1967 when the British withdrew until it was united with the north in 1990, complain of discrimination by the Sanaa government in the distribution of resources.

The south seceded in 1994, sparking a brief civil war that ended with the region being overrun by northern troops.

The Sanaa regime has battled nationwide protests since late January demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is being treated in neighbouring Saudi Arabia for bomb-blast wounds.

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