Yemen Houthi rebels mark Ashura with anti-Saudi slogans

AFP , Wednesday 12 Oct 2016

Thousands of supporters of Yemen's Shia rebels marked Ashura on Wednesday in the insurgent-held capital with slogans against Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition fighting them, witnesses said.

Gathering in a main square in Sanaa to mourn the seventh-century killing on the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, supporters of the Houthi rebels also railed against the United States, a Saudi ally.

"Death to the Saud family," they chanted, referring to the ruling family in the Sunni-majority kingdom. "We will not give in to the Americans."

Participants held up the portraits of Houthi chief Abdelmalek al-Houthi and the leader of Lebanon's Shia movement Hezbollah.

In a televised speech, Houthi called for "revenge" over an air strike on Saturday that killed at least 140 people at a funeral in Sanaa and that the rebels have blamed on the Saudi-led coalition.

"The carnage hit... well-known people from all sides, which has embarrassed the Americans," Houthi said, adding revenge was "everyone's responsibility".

The raid was one of the deadliest attacks since the coalition launched a bombing campaign against Shia rebels in Yemen in March 2015.

The alliance intervened in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government after the Houthis overran much of the country including the capital.

"Our people are facing Saudi tyranny supervised by the American administration," the Houthi leader said in the speech broadcast by the Al-Masirah television channel.

The coalition has been under intense international scrutiny over the alleged civilian death toll in its Yemen operations.

More than 6,800 people -- almost two-thirds of them civilians -- have been killed since the Saudi-led intervention began, the United Nations says.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called for widespread protests in solidarity with Yemen after Saturday's deadly strike.

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