Mass rally in support of Houthi-led council takes place in Sanaa amid Saudi-led airstrikes


Large numbers of Yemenis have taken part in a demonstration in the capital Sanaa in support of Houthi rebels and their allies, who control the city.

Demonstrators backed a new governing council announced by the rebels.

Shortly afterwards, bombs were reported to have been dropped nearby by planes of the Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognised government.

The Saudis have been repeatedly criticised over civilian deaths in air strikes in Yemen.

On Thursday the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said it was withdrawing staff from six hospitals in north Yemen after a coalition air strike hit one of its buildings, killing 19 people.

Separately, the US military has cut the number of its advisers directly supporting the Saudis’ air war in Yemen from about 45 to five, US officials announced. However they said this was not related to growing international concern over civilian casualties.

In another development, Saudi officials said one person had been killed and six others injured in cross-border rocket fire from Yemen that hit the city of Najran. It was the third such attack in a week.

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