3 protesters injured by Houthi gunfire in Yemen's Ibb

SANAA (AA) – Three Yemeni protesters were wounded Saturday after militants believed to belong to the Shiite Houhti movement opened fire to disperse an anti-Houthi demonstration in Yemen's central Ibb province, eyewitnesses said.

Bearing weapons emblazoned with the Houthi insignia, militants opened fire and forcibly dispersed a protest in the city of Ibb, leaving three protesters injured, an eyewitness told The Anadolu Agency.

"Wounded protesters were transferred to a nearby hospital for treatment," he said.

A security source, who declined to be named, said protesters responded to the Houthi assaults by torching one of their vehicles.

Protesters roamed several of Ibb's streets to denounce what they described as a "Houthi coup" against state institutions and called for the expulsion of Houthi militants from provinces under their control.

Houthi leaders could not be reached for a comment.

The Houthis emerged as a formidable political and military force in Yemen after assuming control of capital Sanaa last September before moving on to establish control over other parts of the country.

Earlier this month, the Houthi leadership issued a "constitutional declaration" dissolving parliament and establishing a 551-member "transitional council."

According to the declaration, pro-Houthi "revolutionary committees" will form a transitional council to replace the dissolved assembly.

Fractious Yemen has remained in the throes of political turmoil since autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 following a months-long popular uprising against his 33 years in power.

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