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The New Arab

Yemen banks in Aden go on strike after surge in armed robberies

Aden banks have been caught up in a recent crime wave [AFP]

Date of publication: 17 July, 2017

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Yemeni banks and money lenders have declared a three-day strike after a wave of armed robberies in the southern port of Aden.
Yemeni banks in Aden have closed for three days to protest against a spate of bank robberies that have swept through the southern port city.

The twelve banks - which have branches in Aden - wrote a letter to the central bank citing their concerns about the safety of staff, after bankers and guards were caught up in recent heists.

A banker and security guard were injured on Thursday when armed men stormed an al-Ahli bank in Aden.

Other banks in the port city have also falled victim to the recent crime wave.

"We hope there will be a serious response to the attack and the perpetrators will get arrested and tried," the letter said.

They demanded more armed protection from local authorities to ensure banks can operate safely in the city. 

Aden is under the control of the interntionally-recognised government but most senior officials are based in Saudi Arabia due to security concerns.

Armed gangs are rife in the southern provinces, where separatist militias - some backed by the UAE - are active.

The city periodically erupts into armed conflict between rival factions, while al-Qaeda militants are also present in the south.

The letter to the central bank and city's governor warned of further action if authorities did not respond to the plea and protect local branches.

Yemen has been gripped by war after Houthi rebels overran the capital Sanaa in Septmeber 2014, forcing the government to flee south.

Houthis and army elements loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh moved into other areas of Yemen, which saw the devastating intervention of a Saudi-led Arab force. More than 10,000 people have died in the fighting, bombing or from hunger and disease.



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