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Security officials say gunmen abduct the head of Yemen president's office in center of capital

  • A Yemeni youth chants slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    A Yemeni youth chants slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Yemeni man holds a poster, while chanting slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    A Yemeni man holds a poster, while chanting slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Arabic writing on a poster, center, reads, "With my father and mother I sacrifice to you, the messenger of Allah," meaning the Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Arabic writing on a poster, center, reads, "With my father and mother I sacrifice to you, the messenger of Allah," meaning the Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

Security officials say gunmen have abducted the head of Yemen's Office of the Presidency in the center of the capital, Sanaa.

Officials say gunmen kidnapped Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak and his two guards early Saturday. They say Mubarak and his guards were stopped in traffic and taken away. They say there has been no ransom demand made.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists, say they suspect the gunmen are Shiite Houthi rebels. The Houthis seized large areas of Yemen, including Sanaa, earlier this year as part of their protracted power struggle with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Critics say the Houthis are a proxy for Shiite Iran, charges the rebels deny.