Yemeni security officials say Shiite rebels holding anti-government sit-ins have blocked a main road leading to the capital's international airport.

The officials say the Hawthis pitched tents Sunday on the road leading to Sanaa's airport and near the ministry of communications. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The Hawthis have been camping out for nearly three weeks in the capital, protesting against the government and calling for the reinstatement of fuel subsidies.

The group is reportedly supported by the political party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Armed Hawthis have moved from their stronghold in the northern Sadaa province to the outskirts of the capital in recent days, in a further escalation of the protests.