Yemeni officials say an American who worked as an English teacher in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, has been detained on suspicions of espionage. The officials told the AP on Wednesday that he was arrested at his house in Sanaa on Tuesday and taken to the national security headquarters. Witnesses told a different story, saying armed men in civilian clothes seized the man from a language school and forced him into a car. ” We were shocked when the armed group entered the building. They got to his office and took him to an unknown location,” a Yemeni teacher at the school tells Reuters.
Iran-allied Shiite rebels known as Houthis captured Sanaa in 2014, and are allied with security forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. It was not immediately clear if the American was being held by the Houthis or their allies. The Houthis—who accuse the US of supporting the Saudi Arabia-led coalition they are fighting—have detained several other Americans during the conflict, which has been going on for 18 months and has caused widespread malnutrition in parts of the country. (Last month, a coalition airstrike hit a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders.)