Houthi fighters in Sanaa, capital of Yemen. (Photo: AA)
Houthi fighters in Sanaa, capital of Yemen. (Photo: AA)

Sanaa, 18 Jumadil Akhir 1436/7 April 2015 (MINA) – Yemen’s Houthi group has staged a massive abduction campaign over the past two days in five provinces of crisis-hit Yemen, a local rights group said Monday.

The group has kidnapped 318 political opponents and raided 26 homes and 33 NGOs, according to the Sanaa Rights Center, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

It added in a statement that Houthi gunmen had also raided 16 offices of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Al-Islah Party and seven student dormitories.

The center described the alleged violations as “unprecedented” in Yemen’s history.

Since March 26, positions held by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi group have been under attack by warplanes from countries participating in the Saudi-led campaign.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

Riyadh says the campaign is in response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – who is currently in Saudi Arabia – to “save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias.”

For their part, the Houthis have described the offensive as unwarranted “Saudi-American aggression.” (T/P001/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)