Middle East

Thousands march in Yemen to call for cease-fire

Thousands of Yemenis are taking to the streets to call for an end to the fighting in the country's conflict.

In the city of Taiz, residents say they marched by the thousands after Friday prayers. The city has been besieged for months by rebels, known as Houthis, who residents and aid groups say have been indiscriminately shelling Taiz and blocking humanitarian aid deliveries.

In the city of Zinjibar, residents say hundreds marched to demand the withdrawal of al-Qaida forces.

All residents spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Yemen has been mired in a conflict pitting the Shiite rebels against the internationally-backed government, allied with a Saudi-led coalition. Militants from al-Qaida and the extremist Islamic State group have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their footprint.