Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen kidnap three foreigners

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Updated 23 December 2012
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Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen kidnap three foreigners

SANAA: Gunmen suspected of links to Al-Qaeda kidnapped two Finns and one Austrian in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, security officials said.
One official said the three included an Austrian man and a Finnish man, both students of Arabic, and a Finnish woman who arrived recently in Yemen.
The official said the two students, who had been studying for months at an Arabic language and Oriental studies center in Sanaa, and the Finnish tourist were preparing to travel to the southern port of Aden via second city Taez when they were abducted.
“Al-Qaeda is suspected of being responsible for the kidnapping,” the official added.
“Al-Qaeda threatened ten days ago to kidnap foreigners and to stage bank hold-ups if it does not obtain from the authorities the release of members from an imprisoned network,” the official said.
The source believed the hostages were still in Sanaa.
“It is unlikely that the kidnappers were able to leave the capital with their hostages, as the entrances and exits are controlled by the security forces,” the official said.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry confirmed that a 26-year-old man language student from Vienna was among those kidnapped.
The ministry said that it had had no contact with anyone claiming responsibility for the kidnapping, or any ransom demand.
A Yemeni security official said earlier that the three were kidnapped at gunpoint.
“Four masked gunmen in a vehicle attacked a shop in central Sanaa and abducted three foreign tourists — a woman and two men,” said the official.
The source said the trio were kidnapped from an electronics store.
“An investigation is under way to track them down,” he said.
Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country’s powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips in disputes with the authorities.
Almost all of them have later been freed unharmed.
But Al-Qaeda is also held responsible for abductions in Yemen, including that of a Saudi diplomat, Abdallah Al-Khalidi, who remains in the hands of the extremist network since his kidnapping on March 28 in Aden.


Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

Updated 22 April 2018
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Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

DUBAI: A fire broke out Sunday at a prominent skyscraper in Dubai, sending smoke billowing from its roof and those inside fleeing into the streets.
Firefighters and police on the scene of the blaze at the Almas Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood.
The government’s Dubai Media Office described the blaze as a “minor fire.”
“All employees and visitors are being evacuated and no injuries have been reported so far,” the Dubai Media Office wrote on Twitter.


The Almas Tower, over 60 stories tall, is home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, which is also an economic free zone. The DMCC had hosted a conference earlier Sunday in partnership with Asia House called “The New Global Trade Order.”
The DMCC did not immediately answer a request for comment.

It was the tallest building in Dubai, until 2009, when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa. It is primarily an office building and remains the tallest building at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers cluster off Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Road.
Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city in the United Arab Emirates, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.
Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring that quick-burning side paneling on buildings be replaced with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.