Five UN staff abducted in southern Yemen | world news
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Five United Nations personnel were kidnapped in southern Yemen as they returned to Aden from a field mission, the United Nations said on Saturday.
Staff were abducted in Abyan governorate on Friday, said Russell Geekie, spokesman for the top UN official in Yemen.
“The United Nations is in close contact with the authorities to secure their release,” Geekie said.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government, based in southern Yemen, was working to safely release UN personnel kidnapped by unknown gunmen, the state news agency said on Saturday, citing a cabinet statement.
An official with the UN office in Aden told Reuters that four of those seized were Yemeni nationals.
Political cartoons about world leaders
Yemen has been mired in violence since the Iran-aligned Houthi movement ousted the government in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene months later.
Among Yemen’s many destabilizing forces are Islamist militant groups al-Qaeda and the Islamic State that have in the past carried out attacks, particularly in the south, which saw protests over deteriorating economic conditions last year.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people and caused a serious humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the Yemeni population dependent on aid.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Additional reporting by Mohammed Ghobari and Reyam Mokhashef; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Lincoln Feast.)
Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.