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2 killed in South Yemen protests over tribal chief death

Two people, including a child, were killed Friday in southern Yemen as protests over the death of a tribal chief in clashes with the army turned violent, medics and witnesses said. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Mukalla, in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, and in Aden, to protest the death of Said Ben Habriche earlier this month. The local tribal chief was among six tribesmen killed on December 2 in fighting that erupted when his bodyguards refused to hand over their weapons to soldiers at a checkpoint. Two soldiers also died.

France to allow armed security guards on its ships

PARIS (Reuters) - France is to allow private armed guards to protect its shipping fleet against pirates, the government said on Tuesday. France is one of the main contributors to an international naval force that patrols the Gulf of Aden and the northwestern Indian Ocean to foil pirate attacks launched from Somalia. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the arming of private security forces would make the French merchant fleet more competitive with European rivals.

Alleged Somali pirates taken to Seychelles for trial

Nine alleged Somali pirates arrested by the Danish navy in early November have been transferred to the Seychelles for trial, police in the archipelago nation said Sunday. The Seychelles national police force said authorities in the Indian Ocean country had agreed to accept the transfer of the nine suspected pirates after they were captured on the high seas by the Danish navy, which was taking part in the European Union's Atalanta anti-piracy operations.

Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Nov. 30

Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Nov. 30 BEIRUT -- Casualties from Saturday's sectarian clashes in Lebanon's Tripoli have risen to six killed and 23 injured as militants in the northern port's Sunni-dominated Bab al-Tebbaneh area exchanged fire with gunmen in the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen. "Six people were killed in today's clashes and the death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured are in critical condition," a local security source told Xinhua. (Lebanon-Tripoli- Clashes) - - - -

Jurors hear alleged pirate make demands on call, but also offer calming word after

WASHINGTON - Jurors in the piracy trial of a Somali man who served as a translator during a hostage siege heard him making demands on a recorded phone conversation with a negotiator for the ship' owner. But the ship's captain at Ali Mohamed Ali's trial also testified this week that Ali whispered a comforting word to him after the call was over: "Bluffing."

Mastermind or translator? Somali piracy trial begins in Washington

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trial of a Somali man accused of piracy off the Horn of Africa began on Monday, with prosecutors portraying him as a ransom-hungry negotiator and his lawyers defending him as an intelligence source for the United States who served as a translator.

International anti-piracy force says nabbed 9 Somali pirates

An international anti-piracy force said Sunday it had captured nine Somali pirates suspected of two recent attacks in the Indian Ocean. The Combined Maritime Forces -- naval patrols from 29 countries tasked with policing some of the world's most important shipping lanes -- said the pirates were picked up by Australian warship, HMAS Melbourne, some 500 nautical miles from the Somali coast. After the suspects were arrested, the boarding team destroyed two of their boats and associated equipment.

Jail terms urged for Somali pirates on trial in France

Prosecutors called Friday for jail terms of 10 to 12 years for three Somali pirates on trial for the 2009 hijacking of a French yacht that led to the death of its skipper. The three pirates have asked for leniency, saying they were forced into piracy by lives of abject poverty. French troops stormed the Tanit sailboat in April 2009 and captured the trio during a bid to free Florent Lemacon, his wife, their three-year-old son and two others. French commandos killed two pirates but also accidentally shot dead Florent Lemacon during the operation.

Somali pirates on trial for seizing French yacht

Three Somali pirates went on trial Monday for hijacking a yacht in 2009, which prompted a rescue operation by the French special services in which the skipper died. French troops stormed the Tanit sailboat on April 10, 2009 and captured the trio in a bid to free Florent Lemacon, his wife, their three-year-old son and two others. Florent Lemacon died in the operation. The pirates are now aged between 27 and 31.

Thousands rally for south Yemen independence

Thousands of separatists demanding secession took to the streets of Aden on Saturday to mark the anniversary in 1967 of the independence of former South Yemen. The demonstrators came from across the south and gathered on Parade Square in the centre of Aden, waving flags of the former South Yemen and carrying banners with pro-independence slogans. Security forces watched the crowds from a distance, particularly around public buildings and police and army posts.
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