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Anti-Houthi protesters carry an injured fellow protester during clashes with Houthi fighters in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz

Anti-Houthi protesters carry an injured fellow protester during clashes with Houthi fighters in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz March 22, 2015. Houthi fighters opposed to Yemen's president took over the central city of Taiz in an escalation of a power struggle diplomats say risks drawing in neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia and its main regional rival Iran. Residents of Taiz, on a main road from the capital Sanaa to the country's second city of Aden, said that Houthi militias took over the city's military airport without a struggle from local authorities late on Saturday. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub

Shiite rebels seize city of Taiz

Shiite rebels backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh seized Yemen's third largest city of Taiz and its airport on Sunday, security and military officials said, as thousands took to the streets in protest.

If the rebels hold onto the city, the capital of Yemen's most populous province, it would be a major blow to embattled current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who established a base in the southern city of Aden just 140 kilometers (85 miles) away after fleeing the rebel-held capital last month. (AP)

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