Thousands stage anti-Houthi protest in S. Yemen

They vowed to fight off any Houthi attempt to enter Abyan province

SANAA (AA) – Thousands of Abyan tribesmen staged a demonstration on Sunday in southern Yemen to denounce what they described as a coup by the Houthi militant group.

"The protest is an expression of the tribes' rejection of the Houthi coup against the president and the government," tribal leader Ali Eidah told The Anadolu Agency.

Earlier this month, the Shiite militant group issued what they described as a constitutional declaration dissolving parliament and establishing a 551-member transitional council.

The declaration, however, was rejected by most of Yemen's political forces – along with neighboring countries – which described it as a coup against constitutional legitimacy.

Eidah called for resigned-President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to be restored and for the outcome of the national dialogue to be implemented.

He said demonstrators also wanted to denounce the Houthis' takeover of capital Sanaa and other provinces by force.

"Our tribesmen and representatives of various political factions have all expressed willingness to fight off any Houthi attempt to enter Abyan province," Eidah threatened.

Late last September, the Houthi militants seized control of Sanaa and have since sought to expand their influence to other provinces farther afield.

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

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Mohamed al-Semai

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