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Three dead in army clash with Yemeni villagers

At least three people were killed in clashes on Wednesday between Yemeni soldiers and villagers protesting against a planned military post in a remote region of south Yemen, witnesses said.

world Updated: Apr 15, 2009 15:44 IST

At least three people were killed in clashes on Wednesday between Yemeni soldiers and villagers protesting against a planned military post in a remote region of south Yemen, witnesses said.

The witnesses said by telephone that two civilians and a soldier were killed near the town of Habilain in Lahej province.

Al-Ayyam, an independent daily based in Aden, said on Wednesday that armed men clashed with the army overnight in the mountainous region, but there was no word on casualties.

Yemen's government has had trouble imposing authority in the country of 19 million where al Qaeda militants have staged a series of deadly attacks over the past year.

Violence in Yemen has affected Western and other foreign firms developing its oil and gas sector. Attacks on foreigners, including kidnappings by tribesmen, have hit tourism.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, and other Gulf Arab countries fear instability in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world outside Africa.

Adherents of a Shi'ite sect in the north of the country have been locked in conflict with central government since 2004.