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Gunmen demand gender segregation at Yemen university

Students said armed militants distributed leaflets containing the threats [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 October, 2015

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Gunmen have demanded students are segregated on basis of gender at a university in the Yemen port city of Aden, setting Thursday as a deadline for compliance.

Radical Islamist gunmen have threatened to use force against university students in Yemen's southern city of Aden if they do not observe segregation of the sexes on campus, witnesses said.

Students said armed militants distributed leaflets containing the threats and signed by the Islamic State group in at least three departments of the university of Aden.

The leaflets also banned music and demanded that students perform collective prayers on campus, they added.

They set a Thursday deadline for the demands to be met. Otherwise they threatened to carry out car bomb and petrol bomb attacks.

The authenticity of the leaflets signed by the Aden and Abyan branch of IS could not be immediately verified.

Southern fighters allied with President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and supported by Saudi-led coalition forces managed in July to push the Houthi rebels out of the port city of Aden.

But Islamist militants, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, appeared to have gained ground in Yemen's second city, where extremists are now visibly present.

Al-Qaeda, active across several parts of Yemen, has exploited the collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber has killed two pro-government fighters at a checkpoint in the southern port city of Aden on Monday.

The officials say the attack was in Aden's Mansoura neighbourhood.

It followed the Sunday storming of a supermarket by Islamic militants, who fired shots into the air and briefly took hostages, according to security officials and witnesses.

Witnesses said the attackers warned supermarket employees against the mingling of men and women and demanded that female employees cover their faces.

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