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Houthis abduct senior Yemen intelligence official

The kidnapping in which twenty Houthis had stormed Yahia al-Marrani's residence was confirmed by a relative of the officer

Published: Updated:

A senior Yemeni intelligence official was abducted in Sanaa on Thursday by fighters from the Houthi militia who have been in control of the capital since a September offensive, security sources told Agence France-Presse.

“General Yahia al-Marrani... was kidnapped this morning by armed Huthis from his home in Sanaa,” a source said.

Another source said that about twenty Houthis had stormed Marrani's residence and taken him to an unknown location.

The kidnapping was confirmed to AFP by a relative of the officer, who had served for five years as head of the police intelligence unit in Saada province, a Houthi stronghold in north Yemen.

Marrani was named as a director in Yemen's intelligence services by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who took power following a 2012 uprising that unseated long time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen has been rocked by instability since the Shiite fighters, who are also known as Ansarullah, seized control of Sanaa on September 21.

The Houthis have since expanded their presence in central and western Yemen, but have been met by fierce resistance from Sunni tribes and al-Qaeda militants.

[With AFP]