Middle East

Yemeni police clash with Shia Houthis in Sanaa

Houthis flee as riot police use tear gas to disperse them along a main road leading to the airport in Sanaa September 7 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police cracked down on the protest with tear gas and water cannon

Yemeni police have deployed water cannon and tear gas to shift thousands of Shia protesters, who had built camps on the road to Sanaa airport.

The Houthis, who have had protest camps set up around Sanaa for weeks, want ministers to restore fuel subsidies.

Meanwhile, government warplanes bombed armed Houthi rebels north-east of the capital, killing at least 13 people.

Houthis have staged periodic uprisings since 2004 to win autonomy for their northern heartland of Saada province.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Injured protesters were rushed away by friends and fellow Houthis
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Houthis' leader had called for a campaign of civil disobedience
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The protesters were using yellow ribbons as a symbol of the civil disobedience campaign
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Houthis have erected protest camps around Sanaa

Yemen's long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced from power in February 2012 after an 11-month uprising.

The battle to oust him sparked a chaotic scramble for power among tribal groups and rival militias.

Houthis consolidated control over Saada in 2011 and since July this year have inflicted defeats on other tribal and militia groups backed by Sunni political leaders.

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