Clashes between Yemen police, gunmen kill seven

AFP , Wednesday 4 May 2011

Seven people, including four policemen and a soldier, were killed in clashes between security forces and gunmen in Yemen's restive south on Wednesday, a security official and medics told AFP.

Clashes erupted when armed men fired "three mortar shells" at two police vehicles leaving the riot-police headquarters in Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province.

Four policemen and a soldier who was passing by were killed, the security official said. Witnesses said the attack sparked clashes between the assailants and security forces in the town centre.

A medical official said two civilians were killed. "Sixteen injured civilians, of whom two have succumbed to their wounds, were brought into the hospital, said the medic.
Abyan is considered a stronghold of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

On Sunday, three policemen were killed in a similar attack in the country's southeastern province of Hadramaut. Rocked by nationwide anti-regime protests, Yemen has also been battling a secessionist movement in the south, a Shiite revolt in the north and an Al-Qaeda resurgence in eastern and southern provinces.

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