Family sources have contradicted reports of the release of the Saudi diplomat Abdullah Al-Khalidi. Media reports of his release have been circulating since Sunday morning.
Al-Khalidi, Saudi deputy consul, was kidnapped in south Yemen by Al-Qaeda militants about four months ago. The kidnappers asked for millions in ransom and the release of Al-Qaeda linked women jailed in Saudi Arabia.
"The family members have neither any knowledge of the release of Al-Khalidi nor have any official intimation about his whereabouts," said a member of the Al-Khalidi family here yesterday, who preferred to remain anonymous.
"The family members have read the reports that the efforts to secure the release of Al-Khalidi backed by Saudi and Yemeni governments have failed again after the mediators bargained possibly for a higher ransom or some demands not known to us", said another family member.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opted to remain silent on the issue Sunday night when asked about the possible release of the kidnapped diplomat.
"A tribal mediator said they were about to reach an agreement on Aug. 12 but the talks failed on the issue of ransom amount," said a report published by Yemen Observer yesterday. The report said that upon this release, Al-Khalidi was to accompany President Hadi in his trip to Saudi Arabia.