WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump announced Monday that an American had been freed after being held hostage in Yemen for 18 months.
Danny Burch has been “recovered and reunited with his wife and children,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump did not say who had been holding Burch but he expressed appreciation for the “support of the United Arab Emirates in bringing Danny home.”
It is my honor today to announce that Danny Burch, a United States citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen for 18 months, has been recovered and reunited with his wife and children. I appreciate the support of the United Arab Emirates in bringing Danny home...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
According to Burch’s family, the Texas native, who has lived in Yemen for more than two decades, was kidnapped in the capital Sanaa in September 2017.
A number of foreigners have been abducted in Yemen by the country’s heavily armed tribes for use as bargaining chips in local disputes and there have also been some kidnappings by Al-Qaeda.
In a telephone call with AFP at the time of his kidnapping, Burch’s wife, Nadia Forsa Al-Harazi, urged Houthi Shiite rebels to secure the release of her husband.
She said her husband had lived in the capital for more than 20 years and the couple had three children.
Trump said “recovering American hostages is a priority of my (administration).”
“With Danny’s release, we have now secured freedom for 20 American captives since my election victory,” he said. “We will not rest as we continue our work to bring the remaining American hostages back home!“