Several Americans have been detained in Yemen, a State Department official said Sunday, amid reports that at least four citizens are being held by Shiite rebels.

The Washington Post reported that the Americans were believed to be held by the Houthi militia in a prison near the capital Sanaa, and that US efforts to secure their release had faltered, hampered by the fact that Washington has no direct links to the rebels.

The State Department had seen the “reports that several US citizens have recently been detained in Yemen”, the official told AFP. […]