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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Houthi rebels accused of kidnapping, rape and murder

Employee of UN migration agency was abducted in Sanaa, while woman found dead in Ibb had been detained a day earlier

Houthi fighters ride on the back of a truck during clashes with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on December 4, 2017. Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
Houthi fighters ride on the back of a truck during clashes with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on December 4, 2017. Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Houthi rebels kidnapped an employee of the UN migration agency in the Yemeni capital on Thursday and have been accused by the General People's Congress of raping and killing a female party worker in Ibb province.

The body of Amal Al Kalisi was found on a rubbish dump in the capital of Ibb province on Friday, a day after she had been arrested by the rebels and taken to their local headquarters, said Kamel Al Khoudani, editor of the party's Al Mithaq newspaper.

"They threw her in a garbage dump after they mutilated her body," Al Khoudani said on Twitter.

An image purportedly of Al Kalisi's body on the rubbish dump was posted on Twitter activists.

Ibb is a rebel-held province about 180 kilometres south of Sanaa, the capital that is also under Houthi control. The Houthis launched a crackdown on the GPC after killing its leader, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, on December 4. Hundreds of members are reported to have been killed or arrested since Saleh broke off his alliance with the Iran-backed rebels and called for talks with the Saudi-led military coalition supporting Yemen's internationally recognised government.

The rebels also abducted a Yemeni employee of the International Organisation for Migration on Thursday, the agency's media officer said.

Hisham Abdulrahman Bagash, an IT engineer, was kidnapped while driving home with his wife on Thursday afternoon, Sadeq Al Mualimy told The National.

Mr Bagash is the son of well known Yemeni journalist Abdulrahman Bagash, who wrote on Facebook that two masked gunmen blocked off his son's car with theirs, dragged him out and and drove away with him.

"Until now I have no idea what is the fate of my son," he wrote on Friday.

A journalist in Sanaa who asked not to be named said Mr Bagash's father had resisted Houthi pressure to support them in his articles, "so they kidnapped his son to twist his arm".

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