Yemen's Huthi rebels say they arrested aid workers over 'US-Israeli spy network'

Yemen's Huthi rebels on Monday said they had arrested a "spy network" operating under the cover of humanitarian organisations, after aid workers including 11 UN staff were held last week.

The Iran-backed group claimed the network was linked to the CIA and had been carrying out "espionage" activities in Yemen for years, initially through the United States embassy before it suspended operations in Sanaa in 2015.

"An American-Israeli spy network was arrested," the Iran-backed group's security wing announced in a statement, saying those held worked under "the cover of international organisations and UN agencies".

The Huthis, who are engaged in a long-running civil war that has triggered one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, did not specify how many people were arrested.

The United Nations on Friday said 11 of its staff were among aid workers abducted by the Huthis in several rebel-run parts of Yemen, including six members of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Huthis seized control of Sanaa in September 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention on behalf of the government the following March.


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