Some citizens from Southern Yemen allege marginalization.
Army authorities said that four Yemeni soldiers and a high-ranking officer were killed in clashes with secessionist gunmen in the southern province of al-Dhalea on Tuesday.
They said that four soldiers along with an army colonel were killed during the armed confrontations with the secessionist gunmen, while two citizens were also wounded.
A local resident said “artillery shelling and bloody clashes have been taking place between the army and the secessionist gunmen in different areas of al-Dhalea province since the early hours of Tuesday.”
The army authorities said the confrontations started when a military patrol was targeted by the secessionist group.
Reports said that pro-secession protests were on the rise in the south, amid a worsening economic situation and allegations of discrimination against southerners.
Concerns have increased since the conflicts in southern Yemen are creating instability where al- Qaida could gain foothold.