(AFP) – Feb 2, 2011
ADEN, Yemen — Three people were wounded on Wednesday in clashes in the south Yemen town of Habilayn, witnesses and medical sources said, while the interior ministry said three soldiers had been kidnapped there.
Clashes broke out when security forces tried to set up a military site west of the town, witnesses said, adding that three people were wounded.
Medical sources confirmed that the three were taken to the nearby Radfan Hospital, and that one had been transferred to Aden because of the seriousness of his injuries.
Separately, the interior ministry said three soldiers had been kidnapped in Habilayn at the end of January by "outlaw elements" in the Lahij province town.
One one person believed involved in the kidnappings had been arrested.
An official from the Southern Movement, whose members want either independence or increased autonomy for Yemen's south, said on January 18 that southern Yemeni rebels had seized three soldiers on the outskirts of Habilayn.
Tensions were high at the time in the southern movement stronghold, where medics and military sources said on January 17 that one woman had been killed and 11 other people, including seven civilians, wounded in recent clashes.
South Yemen was independent from 1967, when Britain withdrew from Aden, until the region united with the north in 1990.
The south attempted to secede in 1994, sparking a short-lived civil war that ended with it being overrun by northern troops.
The region, where many residents complain of discrimination in the distribution of resources by the Sanaa government, is the site of frequent protests and periodic violence.
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