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American head of language school in Sanaa detained by gunmen

Students at the center said around 12 gunmen surrounded the building located at Al-Jaza’ir street west of Sanaa

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Gunmen donning civilian clothes stormed an English-language school in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and detained its principal, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

The sources said the gunmen belonged to the national security apparatus controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi militia group. They took the director of Exceed Language Center in the afternoon to an unknown location.

Students at the center said around 12 gunmen surrounded the building located at Al-Jaza’ir street west of Sanaa and three masked gunmen detained the principal, creating panic among the students.

Agence France-Press said the man was only identified by his first name, Peter.

The center’s website lists only one staff member with the same given name -- Peter Willems, who is listed as the school’s director.

So far, there have been no claims made over the director’s detention by the gunmen.

Houthis are still in control of Sanaa after they attempted a coup in September 2014, which forced Yemen’s internationally recognized President Abedrabu Mansour Hadi into exile.