00:43 GMT16 January 2021
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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)
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    Yemeni governmental news agency SABA did not confirm media reports that Houthi militants seized its office in the country's capital Monday.

    MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik) — Yemeni state-run news agency SABA has denied media reports that its offices in the capital Sanaa were stormed by Houthi rebels, a senior staff member told Sputnik on Monday.

    "This never happened," SABA's deputy chief executive told Sputnik, adding the agency was "working as usual."

    The Yemeni information minister told The Associated Press earlier that Houthi insurgents had seized Yemen's SABA news agency, in what she allegedly referred to as a "step toward a coup."

    "Houthis working at the agency have been interfering in the agency's information policy for two days now," Sputnik's source at the SABA office said.

    Ongoing battles between Yemeni government forces and Houthi fighters have been reported across Sanaa since early Monday. Gunfire was also heard in close proximity to the president's residence in the capital.

    Tensions in the country escalated Saturday after Houthi fighters kidnapped President Hadi's chief of staff, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, and two of his guards.

    The Houthi are a major opposition force in the country and were instrumental in removing former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh from office in 2012. In September 2014, the insurgency spread to Sanaa and the central and western parts of the country.

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    Houthi Rebels Shake Yemen (127)

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    mass media, clashes, Houthi militants, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, Yemen, Sanaa
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