Female Yemeni fighters carry babies and machine guns at anti-Saudi rally

Women took to the streets of Sanaa in support of the Houthi rebels

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The Independent Online

Female fighters carrying babies, rocket launchers and machine guns took to the streets of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa to protest Saudi Arabia’s involvement in its brutal conflict. 

Marching in support of the Houthi rebel movement, they shouted slogans against the multinational coalition forces led by oil rich Middle Eastern state, which support the government.  

Their protest followed talks this week between a United Nations envoy and the Saudi-backed, internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. 

They attempted to broker a ceasefire to end the brutal conflict, which has claimed an estimated 10,000 civilian lives. 

The UN ranks Yemen as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

The death toll increased when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to push back rebels who had gained control of the capital and other parts of the country. 

The majority have been killed by coalition airstrikes and the conflict has triggered a grave humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 80 per cent of the population in need of aid.

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Women are pictured with children at the rally (Mohammed HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The fighting began when attempts to bring political stability to the country failed after the country's longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced relinquish power to his deputy Mr Hadi. 

Subsequently, Mr Hadi struggled to handle many of the problems affecting the country, including extremist attacks by al Qaeda, corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.

The Houthi rebels then seized on his weakened control and Many Yemeni civilians backed them as they took control of the capital in 2014. 

 

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A lone fighter holds a ceremonial weapon at the pro-Huthi rally (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Women hold rocket launchers and sport red caps in support of the Huthi rebel movement (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Many charities, including Amnesty International, have accused the UK of being complicit in the war by arming Saudi Arabia.

The  British government has rejected calls by two parliamentary committees for it to stop the sale of British bombs to the country's armed forces in Yemen where they have been widely accused of committing war crimes during the campaign.

Reports on the ground suggest they have blown up international hospitals, funerals, schools, and weddings.

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