As many as four Yemeni children were kidnapped over the past three days in the central governorate of Ibb while residents foiled a fifth kidnapping operation, local media reported.
On Thursday, media reports said three children all aged 15 disappeared from a neighbourhood in the Al-Mishna District, in Ibb governorate.
The families of Mahmoud Al-Tawaiti, Ayman Bilal Qamhan, and Hassan Muhammad Al-Najjar said they go to the same school and disappeared at the same time.
Later on Saturday, the family of a 13-year-old boy, Jubran Muhammad Hazza Al-Waeli, said he had gone missing after leaving the house two days earlier.
On Saturday night, local residents said an armed gang had kidnapped a fifth child named Abd Al-Latif Al-Hamiri from the city of Ibb, however, his family immediately launched a rescue campaign on social media which led to his rescue.
The disappearances coincide with the increase in kidnapping and forced recruitment by the Houthi group which seeks to attract new fighters to its ranks.
The Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Muammar Al-Eryani, on Saturday accused the “Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militia” of carrying out forced recruitment operations in the capital Sanaa and other areas under its controls, including “citizens, school and university students, employees, workers and tribesmen” and putting pressure on school principals, sheikhs, and tribal heads.
Al-Eryani called on Yemeni “to resist these criminal practices and refuse to throw their sons” to their death in battle.
He also called on the international community and the Security Council to pressure the Houthi militia to stop forced recruitment, including children which he described as a “flagrant violation of international laws and charters” and to hold the perpetrators to account as “war criminals”.