Tens of thousands mark three years since rebel takeover of Yemen capital

Sanaa: Tens of thousands of supporters of Yemen’s Ansar Allah and their allies gathered in Sanaa on Thursday to mark three years since the rebel takeover of the capital.
The Ansar Allah and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh captured Sanaa on September 21, 2014, plunging Yemen into chaos and prompting a military intervention against them the next year.
On Thursday, warplanes from the coalition flew overhead as the crowds — Ansar Allah and Saleh supporters — massed in the capital’s Sabaeen Square, an AFP photographer said.
On the ground, security forces were on high alert, searching vehicles rigorously as they entered the capital and approached the square.
A massive stage hosted a string of speeches, punctuated by an all-men’s choir, dressed in traditional Yemeni clothes, belting out military anthems.
“From this blessed square we will liberate all of Yemen,” the head of the rebel government, Abdel Aziz bin Habtoor, told the crowds.
He accused coalition members of “direct occupation” of Yemen’s southern and some of its eastern regions. The Ansar Allah outlet Al Masirah said supporters had arrived from provinces across the country for the rally.
On September 21, 2014, the Ansar Allah seized key institutions, including the government headquarters and military sites, with the aid of forces loyal to Saleh. — AFP