Two killed in Yemen riots

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File photo: Suspected al-Qaeda militants drive through the streets of Azzan in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa.

Sanaa - Security officials in Yemen say thousands of rioters in a southern province attacked shops owned by northerners, forced police officers to flee their stations and held a general strike to protest the killing of a prominent tribal leader.

Friday's riots erupted after tribal leaders called for an “uprising” and a general strike in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramawt.

Officials say the leaders called for expelling police and soldiers and to take control of government agencies and local municipalities.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

The violence follows the killing of Sheik Saad bin Habriesh on December 2 at a military checkpoint, along with two others authorities described as al-Qaida-linked suspects. The killings sparked anger among tribes.


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