First Published: 2009-06-14

 
Rebels kidnap nine foreigners in Yemen
 

Nine foreigners kidnapped in restive Saada region by Shiite rebels fighting Yemen government.

 

Middle East Online

Caught up in conflict

SANAA - Nine foreigners, mostly women and children, including seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean woman teacher, have been kidnapped by Shiite rebels in Yemen, officials said.

The group were seized in the restive Saada region of north Yemen by rebels who have been fighting the government in Sanaa for five years, said a local authority official, cited by the defence ministry news website September Net.

The German group includes a couple, three children and two women nurses, according to the official, who did not say when they were taken hostage.

They belong to an international organisation which has been working at a hospital in Saada for the past 35 years, the official said.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

The official said they were taken hostage by members of the Huthi Zaidi rebel group which have been fighting the government since 2004.

Tribesmen often use kidnapping to twist the government's arm in local disputes. More than 200 foreigners have been abducted over the past 15 years, but in all the cases, the hostages have been freed unharmed,

The exception was for three Britons and an Australian seized by militants in December 1998 who were killed when security forces stormed the kidnappers' hideout.

The government and Huthi rebels signed a Qatari-brokered peace deal last June but there has been repeated wrangling about its implementation.

The insurgents are known as Huthis after their late commander, Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, who was killed by the army in September 2004. Hussein was succeeded as field commander by his brother Abdul Malak.

Shiite Zaidis are a minority in the mainly Sunni Yemen but form the majority in the northwest.

 

Kerry seeks to allay Gulf states’ fears on Iran

Egypt Interior Minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Assad likens himself to Superman

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Dubai launches first 3D pavement art festival

Jewish tradition could help struggling Gaza farmers

Saudi Arabia urges coalition to fight jihadists 'on ground'

Algeria criminalises violence against women

Sisi replaces interior minister in cabinet reshuffle

Executions set 'unprecedented' pace in Saudi Arabia

Libya declares more than 10 oil fields ‘non-operational’ after IS attacks

Syria exiled opposition chief seeks to unite dissidents

US warns against sectarianism in Tikrit offensive

Thousands of Filipinos remain in Libya despite perilous situation

South Sudan peace talks hit deadlock ahead of deadline

Turkey will not take part in Iraq offensive to retake Mosul

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen freed

Mali rebel groups urged to sign peace deal

At least 34 dead in Syria rebel attack on intel HQ

Libya declares force majeure at 11 oil fields

Iran’s regional influence ‘not negiotiable’

Women protest for peace ahead of Israel election

Concerns rise over civilians’ safety in Iraq military operation

UN invites Libya leaders for crisis talks in Algeria

Israel to double water quota to Gaza ‘within days’

Abbas: Palestinians ready to talk with "whoever" wins Israel election

Fire at Cairo convention centre injures 19 people

US, Iran wrap up three days of intense nuclear negotiations

EU reviews policy in response to Ukraine, Arab Spring

IAEA delegation to hold talks in Tehran on March 9

Tunisia rescues 86 African migrants at sea

Saudi executing at 'unprecedented' pace

Turkish Airlines plane skids off Nepal runway

British former marine 'killed' in Syria

Iran slams boring Netanyahu's continuous lie-spreading in US speech

'Saudi prince' New York apartment on sale for $48.5m

Libyan militants take control of two oil fields

Washington lauds Iran's role in Iraq

Netanyahu warns Congress: Nuclear deal will free Iran to develop weapons

Bottle of juice vs. outspoken critic of Israel domestic policies

UN approves sanctions regime for South Sudan

Arab states to mull creation of joint force against ‘Islamic State’

Libya tit-for-tat airstrikes target airport, oil terminal

Iran holds memorial service for ‘Afghan volunteers’ killed in Syria

South Sudan general accused of abducting child soldiers