close
Wednesday June 19, 2024

Huthi rebels say aid workers held over ‘US-Israeli spy network’

By AFP
June 11, 2024
Houthi policemen ride on the back of a patrol pick-up truck during the funeral of Houthi fighters killed in US-led strikes, in Sanaa, Yemen February 10, 2024. — Reuters
Houthi policemen ride on the back of a patrol pick-up truck during the funeral of Houthi fighters killed in US-led strikes, in Sanaa, Yemen February 10, 2024. — Reuters

DUBAI: Yemen´s Huthi rebels on Monday said they had arrested a “spy network” operating under the cover of humanitarian organisations, after aid workers including 11 UN staff were held last week.

The group claimed the network was linked to the CIA and had been carrying out “espionage” activities in Yemen for years, initially through the United States embassy before it suspended operations in Sanaa in 2015.

“An American-Israeli spy network was arrested,” the Iran-backed group´s security wing announced in a statement, saying those held worked under “the cover of international organisations and UN agencies”. The Huthis, who are engaged in a long-running civil war that has triggered one of the world´s worst humanitarian crises, did not specify how many people were arrested.

The UN on Friday said 11 of its staff were among aid workers abducted by the Huthis in several rebel-run parts of Yemen, including six members of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Yemen´s internationally recognised government said “dozens of employees” of UN agencies and other international organisations were detained as part of a “massive abduction campaign”. The Yemeni Mayyun Organisation for Human Rights said at least 18 were held in “simultaneous” arrests that took place in the capital Sanaa, the key port of Hodeida, Amran and Saada, the rebels´ traditional stronghold.