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Houthis say they 'detained' Yemeni president's aide

January 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement on Saturday said it had detained the director of the office of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi earlier in the day and said it was “forced” to do so.

A group of vigilantes affiliated with the Houthis said in a statement that they had to detain Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak to “sabotage any attempts to renege on a peace and partnership agreement” reached among Yemen’s political forces and the presidency on Sept. 21 of 2014.

The deal, signed only hours before the Houthi militants controlled capital Sanaa, called on the Houthis to pull their militants out of the city.

Nevertheless, the Houthis extended their control in Sanaa and to other provinces across Yemen, pitting themselves against Sunni tribes and Al-Qaeda, which is said to be also powerful in Yemen.

The Houthi vigilantes said in their statement, which was read out on the Houthi Al-Masirah Channel that they would take special measures until what it described as Yemen’s “despotic powers” suspend their “crimes” against the Yemeni people.

It called on Hadi to stop offering cover or “corruption” and “despotism.”

Earlier on Saturday, unidentified gunmen detained Bin Mubarak on one of Sanaa streets, a security source told Anadolu Agency.

He added that Bin Mubarak was heading to the presidential palace to attend a ceremony marking the issuance of a new draft constitution when the gunmen forced him to go with them.

Houthis have turned into a significant political and military power in Yemen in September when they occupied capital Sanaa and then moved to extend their control to other Yemeni provinces.

Yemen in general has been suffering growing instability since 2011 when a popular uprising ousted longstanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh a year later.