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Thousands of Yemenis attend Mawlid celebrations in Sanaa Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Thousands of Yemenis attend Mawlid celebrations in Sanaa

Security was on high alert in Sanaa during Sunday's proceedings [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 December, 2016

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Thousands of people gathered in the Yemeni capital Sanaa’s al-Sabaeen square to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad at an event organised by Houthi authorities who control the city.
Thousands of people gathered in the Yemeni capital Sanaa’s al-Sabaeen square to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad at an event organised by Houthi authorities who control the city.

Some local media outlets claimed that as many as 100,000 people participated in commemorations.

Proceedings included a televised speech by Abdul Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi group.

Al-Houthi criticised Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the country in defence of the exiled government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also calling for the international community to recognise the Houthi government in Sanaa, and support a “humanitarian pause” to current conflict. 

Earlier in the week, sources within the Houthi Interior Ministry in Sanaa told local press that special measures were taking place to ensure security during Sunday’s proceedings including the banning of large trucks from central Sanaa and the establishment of additional checkpoints in the Yemeni capital.

Translation: Highlights of the birthday of the Prophet in Sabaeen square in the capital Sanaa.

Proceedings took place a day after dozens were killed in a suspected IS suicide attack in the coastal city of Aden which is controlled by forces loyal to president Hadi. 

On Sunday night after commemorations, the Yemen Post, and other local media outlets in addition to users on social media, claimed that that Saudi coalition airstrikes had targetted the Yemeni capital late on Sunday night/Monday morning. 

In the past months numerous ceasefires have been proposed to end Yemen’s ongoing conflict. However they have proved to little avail.

Over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s ongoing conflict which began in March 2015 and pits supporters of the exiled government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is backed by Saudi Arabia, against the Houthi’s who pledge allegiance to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and are backed by Iran

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