Yemen's powerful Houthi movement fights artillery battles with the army near the presidential palace in the capital, drawing accusations that the militia fighters are mounting a coup. Mana Rabiee reports.
Artillery battles near the presidential palace in the Yemini capitol Sanaa. The powerful Houthi movement fought with the army on Monday, reportedly seizing the state news agency and TV station. THAT promoted accusations from the government that Houthi militia fighters were mounting a coup. By the evening, the government said a ceasefire was in effect, but not before at least five people were killed and more than 20 wounded, with the final numbers likely higher. Explosions echoed across the city in what was the most intense clashes since September. That's when the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi movement seized the capital and brought everyday life to a standstill. The Houthis are demanding more rights for Shi'ites in this fragile Arab state, where Sunni Muslims predominate in central and western parts of the country. With control of Sanaa in their hands since September, the Houthis are effectively the de facto top power in Yemen. They say they'll escalate the situation if their demands for a fair stake in a new constitution are not met.