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Shia militia abduct senior Yemen intelligence official

AFP , Thursday 25 Dec 2014
Yemen
Shia Huthi rebels gather near a house belonging to a Huthi man after a bomb explosion, in Sanaa Yemen, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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A senior Yemeni intelligence official was abducted in Sanaa on Thursday by Shia fighters from the Huthi militia in control of the capital since a September offensive, security sources said.

"General Yahia al-Marrani... was kidnapped this morning by armed Huthis from his home in Sanaa," a source told AFP.

Another source said that about 20 Huthis 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 Huthi stronghold in north Yemen.

He was named as a director in Yemen's intelligence services by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who took power following a 2012 uprising that unseated longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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

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

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