Monday, July 13, 2009

Yemen forces disperse rally over suspended paper

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) – Yemeni forces dispersed on Sunday a rally of 200 people in Aden protesting the suspension of a newspaper which the government accuses of seeking to divide the Arabian peninsula country, witnesses said.

Yemen, which has been battling a wave of al Qaeda attacks, has witnessed sporadic clashes between police and locals in southern towns where secessionist sentiment is strong.

People in the south, home to most of Yemen's oil facilities, have long complained that northerners abused the unity agreement to grab their resources and discriminate against them.

The Yemen News website said about 15 of the al-Ayam newspaper employees were arrested in the rally.

Security forces blocked access routes to the protest area and barred gatherings of more than two people, they said.

Yemen suspended a number of newspapers in May after accusing them of seeking to divide the country amid a rise in secessionist sentiment in the south.

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