Yemeni protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen, on Aug. 18, 2014. Tens of thousands of Yemeni protesters supporting the Shiite Houthi group take part in a protest on Monday, demanding the resignation of the government and calling on reforms to eliminate corruption and cut fuel price.(Xinhua/Mohammed Mohammed)
SANAA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of Yemenis staged a rally in the capital of Sanaa on Monday, protesting against the government's decision to rise fuel prices last month and demanding the resignation of the government.
The protesters, most of whom are supporters of the Shiite Houthi group, joined the rally in response to a call by Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the group, who vowed to set up a sit-in camp inside the capital until the people's demands are met by the government.
During the demonstration, the protesters waved banners, blamed the government of lifting the fuel subsidies last month and demanded the resignation of cabinet members for the government's failure of bringing welfare to the people and taking reforms in the country.
Protester Ali Nasher said "we will overthrow this failed government and we will bring a new government that meet the goals of revolution in order to make people live a decent life."
The government tightened security in and around Sanaa by deploying soldiers on every main street and blocking roads leading to government institutions.
No violence were reported between the protesters and soldiers. The protest was the second of its kind this month, following a rally staged by the Shiite Houthi group on Aug. 4 in Sanaa.
The government on July 30 raised the price of petrol from 125 Yemeni riyals (about 0.6 U.S. dollar) to 200 riyals per litre and diesel from 100 to 195 riyals, sparking angry protests across the country.
The government defended the price hike, saying all Yemeni parties agreed on the decision to reduce budget deficit, according to official Saba news agency.
In 2013, the government spent about 3 billion dollars on fuel subsidies, nearly a third of Yemen's state revenue.
The cash-strapped Yemeni government has been seeking to secure a loan for over a year from the International Monetary Fund, but the latter demanded an immediate cut to the fuel subsidies at first.
Yemen has suffered severe fuel shortage since May, when fuel supplies were available only in a few stations in major cities.