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Yemen's Houthis kidnap 6 Norwegian Refugee Council employees

Yemen's Houthi militia forces have kidnapped 6 members of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) national staff and a contracted driver, in Al-Hudaydah, a government minister announced.

Local Affairs Minister Abdul Raqib Fattah said that the staff members, all of whom are Yemeni citizens, were abducted when the Houthis raided the office in Al-Hudaydah's Hali district on Thursday.

Fattah called on the UN and other international organisations to condemn the actions of the Houthi militia and to protect humanitarian workers in Yemen. Local sources later told the Associated Press that the employees were abducted during a raid of the refugee council's headquarters, amid accusations that they had accepted and distributed aid from the Saudi-led coalition.

Al-Hudaydah has been stricken by war and hunger, and is one of the provinces that have suffered the most in Yemen. The Houthis took over Al-Hudaydah nearly a month after capturing the country's capital Sana'a in September 2014.

According to UNICEF, almost 100,000 children are facing starvation in Al-Hudaydah. On average, fishing has decreased in Al-Hudaydah by 75 per cent since the start of the war and food prices in Yemen have seen increases of 60 per cent.

Correction in this article has been made to the number of Norwegian Refugee Council staff that have been kidnapped from 12 members to 6 members and a contracted driver at 19:16 GMT.

Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaYemen
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