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Iran's Basij protests attacks in Yemen

TEHRAN, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Members of the Basij militia in Iran demonstrated against attacks on Yemeni Shiites in front of the Yemeni and Saudi Arabian embassies in Tehran.

Protesters chanted anti-Western slogans in front of both embassies, calling on the Iranian government to voice its support for the Shiite population in Yemen, the Iranian Students' News Agency reports.

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Iranian officials lashed out over the recent aerial bombardments and cross-border attacks on rebel outposts along the Yemeni border by the Saudi military.

Tehran added it was inappropriate for the Yemeni government to wage war on the Shiite population in its country. The Iranian government says Yemeni Shiites were trying to reverse the discriminatory policies of the Sunni government in Sanaa.

Yemen in early August launched a major military offensive against Shiite al-Houthi rebels. The government accuses the rebel group of attempting to establish an Islamic state in the region.

The conflict threatens to spill over to engulf other states in the region. Yemen blames regional affiliations from Iran to Egypt for backing the rebel fighters.

The latest threat to Yemen comes from alleged ties between al-Houthi rebels and al-Qaida. A report in London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat said both groups are trying to undermine the stability in Saudi Arabia.

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