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Yemen's abducted presidential aide will be freed in hours

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak was kidnapped, along with two of his guards, on Jan. 17 in the center of the capital, Sanaa

Published: Updated:

Yemen’s abducted presidential chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak is likely to be “freed within hours,” Reuters reported a Houthi official saying on Tuesday.

Bin Mubarak was kidnapped, along with two of his guards, on Jan. 17 in the center of the capital, Sanaa. He was the first choice for the post of prime minister last October, but his nomination was derailed after Houthis rejected the move.

His abduction led to the resignation of the Western-backed president Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and the government.

The Shiite Houthi militia seized the presidential palace last week, plunging the Arab world’s poorest country into deeper crisis.

A Yemeni official told Reuters earlier that bin Mubarak had been handed over in Sanaa to a tribal leader from his native Shabwa province in south-eastern Yemen. There was no immediate comment from that official.

The news come a day after Yemeni rivals agreed to form a salvation national government.

Houthi rebels descended from their base in Yemen’s rugged north to overrun the capital in September, as part of their protracted power struggle with Hadi.

[With Reuters]