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Yemen on alert after protests by supporters of Shiite rebels demanding government change

  • Mideast Yemen-1.jpg

    Yemeni Shiite groups chant slogans during an anti-government demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Arabic writing on headband reads,"no to fuel price hikes." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Yemen-2.jpg

    Yemeni Shiite groups march during an anti-government demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Arabic writing on a banner at right reads,"people demand to cancel the fuel prices hikes." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Yemen-3.jpg

    Yemeni Shiite groups march during an anti-government demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • 58aa8f1b65bd23205d0f6a706700e8f4.jpg

    Yemeni Shiite groups march during an anti-government demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. Arabic writing on a banner at bottom reads,"down with corruption." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Yemen-5.jpg

    Yemeni Shiite groups march during an anti-government demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

Tanks and armored vehicles have deployed in Yemen's capital in the face of protests by tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite rebels who are demanding the government change.

Protesters were responding to a call by Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, the top leader of the heavily armed Hawthi group that overran northern cities. He has given the government until Friday to meet their demands of reinstating fuel subsidies.

Yemen's Supreme Security Committee, its most senior security body, warned Tuesday it will take "all measures to ensure the safety and security of the country."

Ten of Yemen's Western and international allies said in a joint statement that the Hawthi moves are "antagonistic, militaristic and disrespectful."