Thousands rally for independence in southern Yemen

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2014 12:06 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Yemen's southern port city of Aden to call for independence from the north on Sunday, prompting police to move in to break up the gathering.

Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, said they dispersed protesters gathered outside a government building by firing tear gas and shooting in the air. They said protesters had moved to storm the building, and three were injured and rushed to the hospital. The officials said the area is now quiet.

The police and military had deployed heavily ahead of the protest.

The demonstration falls on the 47th anniversary of Yemen's independence from Great Britain, a day that has become a rallying point for southern secessionists.

Once-independent South Yemen was united with the north in 1990. An attempt to break away from the union in 1994 was ruthlessly crushed by the army of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Another sit-in protest that began last month in one of Aden's main squares continues.