Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis rallied in the capital and across the country against an armed Shiite rebel group which has been holding its own sit-in demanding a new government and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies.

In the Friday demonstrations in support of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, protesters packed Change Square in the capital Sanaa and carried banners reading "For the sake of Yemen unity." Nearly 10 kilometers (six miles) away, supporters of the Shiite Hawthi group expanded their sit-in alongside the main airport road.

Hadi has offered to reshuffle the cabinet and carry out other reforms in exchange for the Hawthis ending their sit-in, while critics of the militant group say it is using demonstrations to conceal a power grab.