Yemenis Rally Against President, Al-Qaeda

Yemenis Rally Against President, Al-QaedaYemenis Rally Against President, Al-Qaeda

Yemeni protesters took to the streets in capital Sanaa and other cities on Saturday to demand – for the first time - the resignation of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while condemning attacks by al-Qaeda, including a bombing at a police academy that killed dozens.

The demonstration organized by a youth group calling itself the Rafd (Rejection) Movement also protested against the presence of militants in Sanaa and other parts of the country, AFP said in a report.

The protesters rallied outside the police academy where a car bomb tore through dozens of Yemenis Wednesday as they were lined up to enroll as recruits, killing 40 people and wounding 71. Yemen’s top security body has blamed al-Qaeda for the attack and security forces have arrested five suspects, but a leader of the group had denied the organization’s involvement.

“Al-Qaeda has nothing to do with the incident,” Sheikh Saleh Abdel Ilah al-Dahab said on Twitter, accusing the Houthi militia that overran Sanaa in September of being behind the bombing.

Impoverished Yemen has been hit by a wave of violence in recent months, with the powerful militia clashing with tribal forces and the country’s branch of al-Qaeda.

Unrest grew after the Houthis, overran Sanaa. They have since expanded their presence in central and western Yemen. The protesters chanted slogans hostile to both al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the houthis. Similar protests took place in the central city of Ibb and in Taez, Yemen’s third-largest city, residents said.