Shia Houthi militants have abducted a leading member of the Islamist Al-Islah Party from his home in Yemen’s coastal Hudaydah province, a party source said Tuesday.
“Late Monday night, Houthi militants abducted leading party member Sheikh Abderrahman al-Wechli from his home in Hudaydah’s city of Zaidiyah,” the source told Anadolu Agency.
The source, requesting anonymity, added that al-Wechli was now being held by the militant group at an unknown location.
On Sunday, Houthi militants in Sanaa also abducted Abdelrazak al-Achoul, a government minister from Yemen’s ruling General People’s Congress party, along with eight other party members, including three women.
Although the women were later released, the men are still being held at an unknown location.
Yemen descended into chaos last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa. In April, they also managed to capture the southern Aden province, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – along with most of his government – to flee to Saudi Arabia.
Recent weeks, however, have seen pro-Hadi forces – supported by Saudi-led air power – retake most of the coastal province, allowing for the return of several Yemeni government officials from Riyadh.
President Hadi himself, however, has yet to return to the war-torn country.
Nearly 2,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed to date in the fighting between Houthi militiamen and pro-Hadi forces, the UN announced on August 4.