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Yemen frees Dutch kidnap victim — ministry

Hundreds abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, with almost all released unharmed

Gulf News

Sana’a: Yemeni authorities have freed a Dutch man held captive for a week after being kidnapped by tribesmen in the country’s west, the interior ministry announced on Sunday.

“Security forces freed a Dutch man kidnapped a week ago by tribesmen between the towns of Hard in Hajja province and Al Zaidiya in Hodeida province,” the ministry said in a statement on defence ministry news website

“The man was taken to Sana’a and is in good health,” it added.

The foreign ministry in The Netherlands said it had been informed of the possible kidnap of one of its citizens in Yemen, but without providing confirmation.

“Until now, it appears that the alleged victim was not kidnapped,” ministry spokesman Christophe Kamp told AFP, adding that his country was in contact with the man’s family and authorities in Sana’a.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, with almost all later released unharmed.

The authorities are still trying to free two Finns and an Austrian snatched from central Sana’a late last year, however.

The Austrian man and Finnish man and woman were abducted on December 21 as they prepared to travel to the southern port of Aden via Yemen’s second city Taez.

Last month, Yemeni security officials said the three were being held by Al Qaida-linked tribesmen in the eastern province of Marib.

Most kidnappings of foreigners in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state are carried out by members of the country’s powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government.