SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Tens of thousands rallied in Yemen's capital and across the country on Monday, answering a Shiite rebel call for protests over authorities ending fuel subsidies while threatening to stage prolonged sit-ins to challenge the government.
Abdel al-Malek al-Hawthi, a top leader of Yemen's Hawthi tribe, had urged people to rise up against what he described as the country's "corrupt" government. Thousands streamed into Change Square in Yemen's capital, Sanaa.
"Oh Yemeni people, we call upon you to rally in the streets against the corrupt government which failed in carrying any reforms," al-Hawthi said, vowing to hold sit-ins while giving the government a Friday ultimatum to review its policies. He urged the military to side with the people.
The square witnessed a yearlong uprising against Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh that forced him to step down.
The demonstrations by the Hawthi and its militias put the capital security forces on alert. Riot police deployed to main streets and beefed up security measures at the main entrances to the capital.
Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said that lifting the subsidies was "inevitable" and cautioned against moves that could endanger the nation's stability, in apparent warning to Hawthis.
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