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.

 

Egypt blacklists Hamas armed wing as ‘terrorist organization’

UN chief backs African force to fight Boko Haram

Party of Yemen ex-president breaks boycott to join Huthi meeting

Concern rises in Japan as hostage negotiations hit 'deadlock'

Wary of Internet, jihadists change communication strategy

Who plotted assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh?

Bahrain revokes citizenship of 72 unrest convicts

AU: Ignoring South Sudan findings will help the guilty

Hezbollah warns it does not fear new war with Israel

Saudi blogger’s flogging postponed for third week

Iran seeks good relations with Saudi Arabia

Jordan still kept in the dark over pilot fate

Syria’s Qaeda fights Western-backed rebels

Abbas to visit Stockholm after Palestine recognised

UN chief to African leaders: do not 'cling to power'

Israel to go ahead with 430 new West Bank settler homes

Libya rivals to join peace talks if held on home soil

New Saudi king announces sweeping cabinet shake-up

Deadly Sinai attacks force Sisi to cut short overseas trip

Israel reduces energy supplies to Palestinians

Syria opposition embassy in Qatar renews passports

Hezbollah sends message to Israel ‘conflict is over’

Women protest against Egypt police after fatal shooting

Libyan airline suspends flights

Iraq government vows to investigate Diyala massacre

MSF withdraws help from two Sudan states

Jordan wants to see proof pilot alive before exchange

US says thousands of Somali children facing starvation

Kuwait online activists arrested 'over Saudi criticism'

British mosques open doors to reach out to citizens

Iran, Europe officials to meet Thursday in Istanbul

IS issues new deadline to kill Jordanian pilot if demand not met

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah will pay 'full price'

African Union sees no military solution to Libya crisis

Yemen powerful militia prevents fresh protest in Sanaa

Iran appoints new UN ambassador after US visa refusal

Pentagon confirms US involvement in talks with Yemen Huthis

Hezbollah missiles threaten to spark new war in volatile region

In new website, France warns would-be jihadists: You will die alone

Israel retaliates against Hezbollah attack

Can Iraqis trust their government to rebuild their country?

Sheikh Ali Salman rejects charges as trial opens in Bahrain

Protesters try to storm UN headquarters in Gaza

UN peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon amid border clash

Kobane in ruins after symbolic blow to jihadists