x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Yemeni president visits its conflict-torn southern region

Abdrabu Mansur Hadi tours Aden and the nearby cities of Zinjibar and Jaar in Abyan province, which were held by Al Qaeda-linked militants for a year before the army drove them out last May.

Yemeni boys gather near destroyed vehicles following clashes between security forces and southern separatists in Aden. EPA
Yemeni boys gather near destroyed vehicles following clashes between security forces and southern separatists in Aden. EPA

ADEN, YEMEN // Yemen's president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, toured several southern Yemeni cities in a surprise visit yesterday as police clashed with southern separatists.

The state news agency, Saba, said Mr Hadi arrived in Aden late on Saturday on an "inspection visit", his first since becoming president in February last year.

A security official in the main southern city said the visit was to "closely check the situation in Aden following the unrest".

Mr Hadi toured the nearby cities of Zinjibar and Jaar in Abyan province, which were held by Al Qaeda-linked militants for a year before the army drove them out last May, the agency said.

Protests have intensified in southern Yemen since the killing of five people in clashes between police and pro-independence demonstrators on Thursday, when the deeply divided country marked a year since the removal of strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Protesters and security forces confronted each other again yesterday in Aden, Mukalla and Huja, witnesses said, with injuries reported on both sides.

On Saturday, two protesters and a policeman were killed in clashes that erupted in the south, including in Aden, security officials and medics said.