Classifieds powered by Gulf News

Yemeni abductor promises to free Italian

Kidnapping was only to “put pressure on the Yemeni government”

Image Credit: EPA
Yemeni soldiers man a checkpoint at a street as authorities tighten up security measures in Sana’a. An Italian officer was kidnapped in front of Italian embassy in Sana’a by armed men.
Gulf News

Sanaa/Aden: Tribal negotiations are ongoing with Yemeni authorities to free within “two days” an Italian embassy security agent kidnapped in Sanaa over the weekend, his abductor told a local news website ysterday.

“There is tribal mediation... and hopefully the matter will be resolved tonight, tomorrow, or over the coming two days,” Ali Naser Huraidkan said according to a private Internet site close to Yemeni tribes,

The kidnapping was only to “put pressure on the Yemeni government,” he told the website, adding that the Italian is in “good health and is being well-treated.”

“He has everything he asks for - Internet, telephone and anything else he demands... better than the facilities he’s got in Italy,” the abductor said.

The interior ministry said on Monday that Huraidkan, from Al Jalal tribe in the eastern Marib province, had abducted the security agent identified by Italian media as 29-year-old Alessandro Spadotto.

Huraidkan, wanted for involvement in “cases of murder and banditry,” kidnapped the Italian to press the authorities to drop charges against him and to offer him compensation, the ministry said.

Marebpress said Huraidkan is also demanding that the authorities lift a travel ban against him. “We want the state to respond and cancel a circular banning me from travel,” he was quoted as saying.

A Yemeni security official and a Western diplomat had said that unknown gunmen kidnapped the Italian on Sunday.

According to La Stampa newspaper, Spadotto managed to contact a member of his family by mobile text message following his abduction.

Italian news agency ANSA had cited officials as saying he is a member of Italy’s Carabinieri military police. It also said he was picked up while in civilian clothes in a shop near the embassy.

Meanwhile, four Yemeni soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack on Wednesday by Al Qaida militants on a police station in Jaar, a local official said.

“Members of Al Qaida attacked the station with automatic weapons and hurled a grenade, killing two soldiers and a civilian,” said the official.

Two other soldiers died of wounds, the same official said later, adding that another soldier was wounded.

The defence ministry news website said that more than “20 terrorists” from the Al Qaida-linked Ansar Al Sharia attacked the post.