Child abduction phenomenon expands in Dhamar, Houthi gangs accused of standing behind it

Child abduction phenomenon expands in Dhamar, Houthi gangs accused of standing behind it

Yemeni sources have accused the Houthi militia of being behind the widening phenomenon of kidnapping boys and girls in Dhamar governorate in terms of recruiting and exploiting them to serve the militant group's agenda, as it was reported that 28 boys and girls have disappeared since the beginning of this year.

Local sources in Dhamar revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that five cases of disappearance of children between the ages of 7 and 16 were recorded in separate neighborhoods and streets in the past month.

The sources pointed fingers to "criminal gangs" affiliated to Houthi coup leaders as being behind the widespread of kidnapping of young people, as the phenomenon escalates in the provincial capital of Dhamar and 12 other districts, amid a state of unprecedented deterioration and security chaos.

The most recent of these crimes was the kidnapping of a child named Ahmed Abdullah Al-Haddad, who hails from the Rima governorate, from the “al-Maslakh” neighborhood in which he lives with his family, as his fate is still unknown until this moment.

Two days before the crime of kidnapping the child Ahmed, a girl named (Amani A.) was subjected to the crime of kidnapping by an unknown gang in the city of Dhamar. Eyewitnesses said that three masked men suddenly cut off the road to the child Amani (14 years) in the morning, the moment she left her house to buy some needs, and they kidnapped her and took her by force in a car to an unknown destination.

Witnesses confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the kidnappers quickly returned that girl hours after her abduction to the place from which she was kidnapped, and then fled without mentioning any other information.

In addition, a girl named Karima Sarhan disappeared in mid-May, from one of the main streets in the city of Dhamar, amid circumstances that are still mysterious until this moment.

The escalation of kidnappings against boys and girls comes in parallel with the group's continued campaign to recruit of about 80,000 male and female students in Dhamar governorate to the militia's summer radicalization camps currently involving 1,000 schools.

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