Military: Full-fledged coup underway in Yemen

2015-01-20 18:55
(Hani Mohammed, AP)

(Hani Mohammed, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sana'a - Yemen's powerful Shi'ite Houthi rebels shelled the residence of the country's embattled president on Tuesday and simultaneously swept into the presidential palace in the capital, Sana'a, as a top military commander warned that a full-fledged "coup" was underway.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was inside the residence as it came under "heavy shelling" for half an hour but he was unharmed and protected by guards, officials said. In New York, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting over the chaos in Sana'a.

The shelling was a dramatic development that put the US-backed Hadi into a precarious position and represented the starkest challenge to his authority since the Houthis swept into Sanaa from their northern stronghold and seized the capital in September.

Information Minister Nadia al-Sakkaf posted on her Twitter account that the shelling started at 15:00 local time "by armed forces positioned over rooftops facing" the president's house.

At the same time, Houthi rebels also raided the president's offices, sweeping into the presidential palace and looting the grounds' arms depots, according to Colonel Saleh al-Jamalani, the commander of the Presidential Protection Force that guards the palace.

"This is a coup. There is no other word to describe what is happening but a coup," al-Jamalani told The Associated Press, adding that the rebels were likely aided by insiders.

In a starkly different narrative, the Houthis' TV network al-Masseria claimed the rebels intercepted and foiled attempts by an unspecified group to loot weapons from the presidential palace.

The escalation shattered a tense ceasefire that had held overnight and throughout the morning, following Monday's heavy clashes that engulfed the city, leaving ordinary Yemenis stunned and fearing for their country.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over the "deteriorating situation" in Yemen and urged all sides to cease hostilities.

The latest spasm of violence followed apparently unsuccessful negotiations earlier in the day between Hadi and a representative of the Houthis at his residence.

Read more on:    yemen

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.