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Yemen’s Houthis Accused of Kidnapping UN Employee in Sanaa

Yemen’s Houthis Accused of Kidnapping UN Employee in Sanaa

Saturday, 20 January, 2018 - 09:15
Houthi militias have been accused of kidnapping a UN agency employee in Sanaa. (Reuters)

Yemeni activists accused Houthi militias of kidnapping a United Nations agency employee in Sanaa as part of its ongoing suppression of its opponents.

Senior Yemeni journalist Abdulrahman Bjash said that masked gunmen had kidnapped his son Hisham on Thursday after he had left his office at the International Organization for Migration.

He was with his wife at the time and was taken to an unknown location, he said in post on his Facebook account.

Bjash did not hold anyone responsible for the abduction, saying that he “so far does not know where his son is.”

In a separate development, Houthi militants kidnapped in Sanaa Yehya al-Hindwana for refusing to comply with enlistment demands made by the group.

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency announced on Thursday that the ongoing battles in Yemen have forced more than 32,000 people to flee their homes in the past two months.

The UNHCR said in a statement that they now join some two million Yemenis already displaced by the war.

"The arrival of winter in Yemen, when temperatures can dip below zero degrees Celsius across a number of governorates, has worsened the hardship for many, particularly those displaced and living in informal settlements exposed to the elements with little protection against the cold," it said.

UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said flare-ups in fighting in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, as well as the provinces of Hodeidah on the Red Sea and oil-rich Shabwa in the south, had driven the displacements.

"We continue to see correlations between intensified hostilities and civilian casualties + displacement," Mantoo said on Twitter Friday.

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