Yemen Rebels Guard Presidential Compound
Shi'ite Houthi rebels have replaced the guards outside Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's home, further pressing their control of the country's capital.
The rebels took up the positions Wednesday, a day after clashing with Yemeni security forces at the site in Sana'a. Hadi is said to be safe inside the house.
Rebel leader Abdel Malik Al Houthi said in a televised speech late Tuesday that his faction wants an end to what he called "corruption and totalitarianism" in Yemen. He stopped short of calling for the government's ouster but warned that further action against it is possible.
Elsewhere, authorities in the southern city of Aden closed the airport there Wednesday, saying the move was a protest against attacks on the Hadi's power and the country's sovereignty.
The United Nations Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have called for a cease-fire and the restoration of the government's full authority.
Houthi seek greater rights
Houthi forces, calling for greater rights for Yemen's Shi'ite minority, overran Sana'a in September.
On Saturday, the Houthis kidnapped Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, the president's chief of staff, as the government was trying to draft a new constitution.
Yemen has been wracked by internal divisions. The Houthi movement has spread beyond its traditional rebellion in the north as separatists continue to press their cause in the south.
Meanwhile, the Yemen-based group Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed attacks both at home and abroad, most recently on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this month.
The Shi'ite Houthi movement is fiercely opposed to the militant Sunni AQAP. But it is also against U.S. interference in Yemen.
The Hadi government has been instrumental in helping the U.S. battle AQAP, in particular by allowing U.S. drone strikes against AQAP targets.
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