A defected army soldier waves Yemen's national flag after he declared his defection during a rally demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A Yemeni court has ordered the arrest of a regional security chief over alleged involvement in the torturing of an anti-government protester to death, the pro-opposition website Mareb News reported on Wednesday.

Abdullah Qeeran, police chief of the southern province of Taiz, was also barred from leaving the country.

The court also ordered the arrest of a second policeman in the same case, which it said occurred in June 2010, according to the report.

It neither named nor identified the rank of the second accused.

The opposition have accused Brigadier Qeeran of using violence in quelling protests against the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Taiz has recently seen violent clashes between government troops and anti-Saleh tribal forces.

Millions of Yemenis have taken to the streets since February this year, demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year rule. – Sapa-dpa