ADEN, Yemen, -- An officer of Yemen's intelligence agency was kidnapped in the country's southern port city of Aden on Wednesday, a police official told Xinhua.

Yasser AlBujiri, an officer of the Political Security, was kidnapped by an unknown armed group while heading toward his house, the local police source said on condition of anonymity.

Residents told Xinhua that masked gunmen intercepted AlBujiri's car in front of his house in Aden's neighborhood of Sheikh Othman, and managed to flee the scene with the officer.

Passers-by tried to stop the kidnapping but failed as the gunmen claimed to be policemen and threatened to open fire, residents added.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but Islamist militant groups such as al-Qaida and the Daesh terror group used to kidnap foreigners and government officials in Yemen for ransom.

Considered Yemen's temporary capital, Aden is where the Saudi-backed government has been based since 2015.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since late 2014, when the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the country of the world's most serious humanitarian crisis, where seven million Yemenis are on the brink of famine and cholera has caused more than 2,000 deaths.


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