Four die as violence mars Yemen poll

Four die as violence mars Yemen poll

Yemen sealed President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s exit from power on Tuesday by electing his deputy to shepherd the country away from the brink of civil war.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakul Karman shows her inked thumb after casting her vote in Sanaa on Tuesday. REUTERS

In poll-related violence, four people, including a child, were killed in clashes on Tuesday in south Yemen between security forces and separatists, who have called for “civil disobedience” in protest at the country’s presidential polls, officials and medics said.

A 10-year-old child was killed when militants from the separatist Southern Movement traded gunfire with the police near the election commission headquarters in Aden’s Dar Saad neighbourhood, residents and medics said.

Southern Movement gunmen killed a policeman in Mansura, also in Aden, the main city in the south, a security official said, adding two others were wounded in Dar Saad.

In the southeastern city of Mukalla, separatists attacked a polling station killing a soldier, a military official said. Also in Hadramawt, militants wounded two members of the security forces in separate attacks in two different towns, a security official said.

In Lahij province, a protester was killed and two others were wounded in clashes between hardline factions of the Southern Movement and security forces, activists from the movement said. Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the sole, consensus candidate, billed the vote as a way to move on after months of protests against Saleh’s 33-year rule.

Long queues formed early in the morning outside polling stations in the capital Sanaa amid tight security, after an explosion ripped through a voting centre in the southern port city of Aden on the eve of the vote.

An official from the election security committee estimated a turnout of around 80 per cent, although final results will not be known for two to three