Yemen Protests
Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi group seek cover as soldiers open fire to disperse them near the cabinet building in Sanaa September 9, 2014. Reuters

At least four anti-government protesters were killed in Yemen on Tuesday after soldiers opened fire on them as they attempted to storm the capital building in Sanaa. The demonstrators were aligned with the Houthi rebel group, a band of religious insurgents, which has accused the government of corruption.

Protests, including sit-ins, have swept the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in recent weeks, and there are concerns of the demonstrations descending into full-fledged fighting. A clash yesterday killed as many as 30 rebels. In all, 50 people were killed during the clash.

On Tuesday, protesters were killed after they “tried by force to storm the cabinet, so the [Yemeni] forces guarding it undertook their legal duty to stop them,” an anonymous security source told Reuters.

The Houthi insurgents, who are Shia, are trying to overthrow the Sunni-majority government. Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s president, accuses the rebels of attempting a power grab so they can have an autonomous region within the country.

"The Houthi group may not and cannot continue its escalation and its disturbance of the public tranquillity and the undermining of security and stability in the capital,” Hadi reportedly said.

But Abdel Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Houthis, pledged to continue the protests.

"We vow to continue in our position and dismiss any questioning of our intentions. The solution is to respond definitively to the popular demands, and we are serious in these demands,” he said.