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Yemen’s Houthis arrest UN, rights workers in Sanaa

The Iran-backed Houthis have responded to dissent in Yemen with repeated arrest campaigns since the war erupted in 2014.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have detained at least 15 Yemeni employees of UN agencies and other aid organizations, officials from the internationally backed government revealed on Friday.

The officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said armed intelligence officers belonging to the Houthi group arrested nine UN employees, three employees of the US-funded pro-democracy group National Democratic Institute and three of a local human rights group in a series of raids on Thursday.

Other sources who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed the detention of UN employees, saying they include staff from the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), the UN Development Programme, the World Food Programme and the office of the UN special envoy to Yemen.

Local reports suggest that in addition to the 15 reported detentions, there have been others arrested in a new crackdown this week in Houthi-controlled areas.

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