SANAA, Yemen, Sept 26 (NNN-SABA) – A U.S. oil engineer has been kidnapped, by an unknown armed group, in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, a security official said, on Monday.

The 63-year-old engineer, Danny Lavone Burch, was abducted on Saturday, from a busy street in downtown Sanaa and was seen taken under guns, into a car heading for unknown location, said the source.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident and conducted a search operation, to locate the U.S. citizen, who worked with the Yemeni state-owned oil company, Safer, said the official.

Burch, who married a Yemeni woman, after converting to Islam, and had three children, has been working with Safer for many years.

Sanaa is under tightened control of Shiite Houthi rebels, since the group stormed the capital and seized control over it on Sept 21, 2014.

Several citizens from western countries have been kidnapped or detained by Houthi group since then, but were later released unharmed and transferred to the neighbouring Gulf state of Oman.

The U.S. embassy in Sanaa has been closed, along with all other foreign embassies, since the Houthi’s takeover of Sanaa and expelled the internationally recognised Yemeni government into exile.

The country has since slid into a devastating war between Iran-allied Houthi fighters and the government forces, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, which seeks to roll back rebel gains and reinstate the government into Sanaa.