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Houthis detained 11 UN employees in Yemen

Houthis detained 11 UN employees in Yemen Illustrative photo (photo: Getty Images)

In Yemen, Houthi rebels have detained 11 local staff members of UN agencies under unclear circumstances, reports AP.

UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in New York acknowledged that 11 staff members of the organization had been kidnapped.

“We are very concerned about these developments, and we’re actively seeking clarification from the Houthi de facto authorities regarding the circumstances of these detentions and most importantly, to ensure the immediate access to those UN personnel," he told journalists.

According to the UN, of the 11 individuals, nine are men and two are women. They are staff members of the UN human rights agency, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and UNESCO.

Save the Children organization informed AP that they are concerned about the whereabouts of one of its staff members in Yemen and are doing everything possible to ensure his safety and well-being.

Activists have published an open online letter calling on the Houthis to immediately release those detained, as failure to do so will further isolate the country from the world.

Human Rights Watch, citing family members of the detained, stated that the Houthi authorities have not disclosed the whereabouts of the people they detained and have not allowed them to communicate with their employers or families.

The Houthis are attacking shipping in the Red Sea corridor due to the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza sector.

Recently, militants attacked another commercial ship off the coast of Yemen. According to the British security firm Ambrey, the explosion near the ship occurred on Thursday about 19 nautical miles west of the Yemeni port city of Mokha.