Top separatist among two shot dead in south Yemen

SHAFAQNA – A separatist activist was among two people shot dead in southern Yemen on Monday, as secessionists staged a day of civil disobedience, witnesses and activists said. Khaled al-Junaidi, a prominent figure in the Southern Movement, was shot in the chest when security forces opened fire while trying to arrest him, activists told AFP.

Junaidi was released from prison earlier this month after serving five months for separatist activities, and had been preparing to take part in Monday’s day of action, witnesses said. Most businesses and schools in Aden were closed in response to the call for the demonstration to demand the secession of the formerly independent south.

South Yemen became independent after the end of British colonial rule in 1967, before it joined the north in 1990. Since mid-October, the Southern Movement has staged a sit-in in central Aden to demand secession. Meanwhile, a street vendor was shot dead by southern separatists in Hadramawt province in the southeast, witnesses said.

The gunmen opened fire as the man, who was from north Yemen, failed to stop at a checkpoint, triggering a confrontation between the militants and other residents of northern origin.

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