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    Houthi Shiite Yemenis raise their fists during clashes near the presidential palace in Sanaa, Yemen

    Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Kill Guards, Enter Presidential Palace

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)
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    Houthi fighters battled guards at the Yemeni president's private home and entered his palace in Yemen’s capital.

    MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels shelled the residence of the country’s president and were able to gain entry into the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, as a top military commander warned that a total “coup” was starting, Associated Press reports.

    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.

    Information Minister Nadia al-Sakkaf posted on her Twitter account that the shelling started at 3 p.m. local time on Tuesday “by armed forces positioned over rooftops facing” the president’s house.

    Simultaneously, Houthi rebels also invaded the presidential palace looting the grounds’ arms depots, according to Col. 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 possibly assisted by insiders.

    Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi group, said they had no plans to target Hadi. "Ansarullah has no intention of targeting President Hadi or his house," reports Reuters.

    He said what happened at Hadi's house was the result of a "provocation" by Hadi's security and that the incident has been controlled.

    The latest act of violence is a result of apparently unsuccessful negotiations earlier in the day between President Hadi and a representative of the Houthis at his residence.

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)

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    rebels, coup, killing, negotiations, Shiite Houthi movement, Yemen
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