Foreign Ministry working to release Egyptian citizens detained in Yemen
Ahram Online, Monday 5 Dec 2016
Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid denied reports that the Egyptians were detained by Houthi rebels

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement sent to Ahram Online on Monday that the ministry is working to release Egyptian nationals detained in Yemen.

Several news outlets are reporting that 49 Egyptian fishermen were abducted last week in Yemen's Hadida governorate, which is controlled by Houthi rebels.

Abu Zeid added that the ministry is working in coordination with the Egyptian embassy in Yemen to help release the citizens as soon as possible and dismissed earlier reports that the Egyptian nationals had been abducted by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

"The Egyptian citizens, who are from different professions, were detained and not abducted," said Abu Zeid.

Yemen has been witnessing political turbulence since 2014 when Houthi rebelstook over the capital Sanaa and overthrew the country's government.

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries began military operations against the Houthi forces.