Police have opened fire to disperse dozens of Aden residents protesting power cuts in Yemen’s second city, killing one, a local government official said yesterday.
“A resident was killed and others were wounded” by police gunfire during the late Saturday protests, said the official who requested anonymity.
Dozens of people took to the streets in Aden’s districts of Crater, Mualla, and Mansura to protest against the lack of power supply as temperatures soared to almost 40C (104F) in the coastal city.
Residents blocked roads, erected barricades and set tyres ablaze, prompting police intervention, witnesses said.
Most of the city’s electricity installations were destroyed during fighting between pro-government forces and Iran-backed rebels last year.
The rebels who seized Sanaa in September 2014, expanded south and entered Aden in March last year, but loyalists backed by a Saudi-led coalition pushed them out in July.
The government has so far failed to restore security and power supply in the city that it declared a temporary capital.
“Our life is a real disaster,” said 20-year-old Aden resident Mohamed Abdulhakim.”We are unable to sleep” because of the heat.
“The war has destroyed everything and the aid arriving in Aden is not enough to restore power,” he complained.
The United Arab Emirates, which plays a key role in the pro-government coalition, has sent generators to Aden in recent months to help restore power supply in the city.
But governor of the nearby Abyan province, Elkhedr al-Saidi, said earlier this month that “weak generating capability” in Aden’s power plants is affecting supplies in the southern provinces of Abyan, Daleh and Lahj.
Yemen’s Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher on Wednesday accused the Houthi rebels and their allies of bringing the country’s economy to the brink of collapse.
Fighting has killed more than 6,400 people, displaced about 2.8mn and left 82% of Yemen’s population in need of aid, the United Nations says.
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