Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen kidnap three foreigners



Published — Sunday 23 December 2012

Last update 23 December 2012 3:39 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

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.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi man who carried out a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kuwait on Friday had no previous convictions for terrorism, the Interior Ministry said.The ministry, through its Twitter account, announced that Fahad Suleiman Al-Gabbaa was born...
JEDDAH: Eight million people visited the Grand Mosque in the first 10 days of Ramadan, a 49 percent increase from last year, the Haj and Umrah Directorate said recently.Salah Saqr, director of the directorate, said the transport plan was approved and...
JEDDAH: The government has installed 5,000 high-definition cameras on all floors and courtyards of the Grand Mosque to ensure security and crowd control.These cameras are monitored 24 hours a day by officers at a control center in Mina. They have to...
GENEVA: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the report of the International Fact Finding Commission on Israeli aggression in Gaza and has lauded its effort to prepare the report despite noncooperation from Israel which did not allow the committee to do its wor...
JEDDAH: Several Yemenis have praised the government for correcting their status quickly, which created no extra burden while fasting.Many who gathered in front of the Passport Department in Asir said everything was in place for them, a local newspape...
RIYADH: The $11.6 billion King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is already being admired for being a smart city but nobody can tell when it will be completed.“Being a smart city, everything is state-of-the-art. There is seamless Internet access and...
RIYADH: In a new move, the Ministry of Health will conduct drug tests on all drivers ferrying pilgrims between Makkah and Madinah during the Haj season.The decision was taken at a Haj preparatory meeting held on Sunday under the chairmanship of Imad...
JEDDAH: Motorbikes are among the most important means of transportation in Makkah during Ramadan because they are easy to use and cope easily with congestion in the central area next to the Grand Mosque. Despite the presence of public transportation,...
JEDDAH: A local man here runs a business started 150 years ago by his grandfather making sought-after Hijazi sweets for Eid and other festivals.Samer Jastaniah, 35, has three family shops making these products. “I am the grandson of the doyen of swee...
RIYADH: Saudi students have won six medals — a gold, a silver and four bronze — at the 19th Junior Balkan Mathematical Olympiad (JBMO 2015), securing the fifth place for the nation, as against 13th in its first participation in 2013.Rinad Abu-Jamal f...
Ambassador of Belgium Geert Criel:— Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? The friendliness of its people.— What is your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Ahlan wa Sahlan.— Which book is by your bedside these days? World Orde...
AL-AHSA: Saudi farmers here need more support to buy fertilizers, medicines and equipment, and market their products.This is the view of Ahmed Al-Musalmi, who recently won the country’s ‘Ideal Farmer Award.’ He said high production costs and low mark...
JEDDAH: The Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has launched 20 initiatives aimed at improving the professionalism of employees and limiting individual interpretations and actions while carrying out duties.Sheikh Abdul...
RIYADH: Medical studies and research for new methods in the treatment of chronic diseases suggests that fasting could help combat cancer and boost effectiveness of treatment.Scientists doing research on the positive aspects of fasting discovered that...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has announced that Saudi universities would accept 95 percent of high school graduates, despite a royal decree four years ago setting a ceiling of 70 percent.The royal decree had approved the “Afaq Project,” a strate...

Stay Connected

Facebook