Anti-Houthi protesters run as pro-Houthi police troopers fire tear gas to disperse them in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz March 22, 2015. REUTERS/Anees Mahyoub
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Yemen's Shiite militia sent reinforcements south and clashed with local fighters Monday after the United Nations warned the country is on the brink of a protracted civil war.Security sources said the militiamen, known as Houthis, had sent several thousand troops south and clashed with local Sunni tribes, with their sights set on the main southern city of Aden, where President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has taken refuge after fleeing the capital last month.The militia Sunday seized the airport and a nearby military base in Taiz, 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Aden and seen as a strategic entry point to Hadi's southern refuge.Mounting unrest -- including suicide bombings claimed by ISIS that killed 142 people in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa Friday -- have raised international concerns and prompted an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Sunday.Its 15 members voiced their unanimous support for Hadi, with U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar warning that without immediate action the country will slide into "further violence and dislocation". The Houthis have also deployed some 5,000 militiamen and more than 80 tanks to an area of neighboring Ibb province, 30 kilometers northeast of Taiz, local and military sources said.
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