Yemen rebels hold Egyptians, others on suspicion of spying

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Security officials say Yemen's Shiite rebels have detained a number of Arab and African nationals, including more than 30 Egyptians, on suspicion of spying for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels.

The Egyptians were captured in the city of Hodeidah and transferred to the capital, Sanaa, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The rebels, known as Houthis, launched an offensive from their northern enclave in 2014 to take Sanaa and much of northern Yemen. Their advances forced President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country and seek shelter in Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led coalition, mostly consisting of Arab Gulf states, subsequently intervened in Yemen, launching a punishing air campaign against the Houthis.