Hundreds protest in the Yemeni capital calling houthis to leave Sanaa

Hundreds of Yemenis took to the streets of Sanaa on Saturday to call for the withdrawal of Shiite Houthi militants from the capital.

Protesters gathered outside the eastern gate of Sanaa University and toured several streets before reaching the Sanaa Municipality building, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

They called for Houthis to leave the city and demanded Sanaa Mayor Abdul-Qader Hilal take back the Sixth Military District HQ and turn it into a public part.

Over the past weeks, Sanaa saw a number of similar protests calling for the departure of Houthis from the capital and other cities, denouncing "violence and terrorism" that have plagued the country.

Earlier this month, senior Houthi member Ali al-Ammad told AA that his group will hand over the HQ of the Sixth Military District to Mayor Hilal, giving no further details.

Since they took control of capital Sanaa in late September, the Houthis have sought to expand their influence to other parts of the country.

The Houthis' growing strength in fractious Yemen has raised fears of sectarian conflict in the poor Arab nation, which has remained in turmoil since a 2011 popular uprising ended the decades-long rule of president Ali Abdullah Saleh one year later.