Islamic Republic-Backed Houthis Detain UN Staff, Yemeni Officials Say

 – Houthi security forces have detained at least 15 Yemeni employees of international organisations including the United Nations, three officials of Yemen’s internationally recognised government told Reuters on Friday.

In a series of raids on Thursday, armed Houthi intelligence officers detained nine U.N. employees, three employees of the U.S.-funded pro-democracy group National Democratic Institute (NDI) and three employees of a local human rights group, the officials said.

Intelligence officers of the Houthi group, which controls the capital Sanaa and large parts of the north of the country, raided the homes and offices of these people, confiscating phones and computers.

Islamic Republic-Backed Houthis Target Three Vessels in Red Sea and Arabian Sea

The detained U.N. employees work for the human rights office and the office for humanitarian affairs, said the officials, from the internationally recognised government that controls mostly southern parts of Yemen.

Neither the U.N. office nor NDI immediately responded to a Reuters request for confirmation or comment. A Houthi spokesperson did not immediately comment.

The Houthis, who are aligned to Iran and have attacked shipping in the Red Sea drawing air strikes from the United States and Britain, have held around 20 Yemeni employees of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa for the past three years. The embassy suspended operations in 2014.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari and Andrew Mills, Editing by Peter Graff)

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