First Published: 2017-09-26

63-year-old American abducted in Yemen's Sanaa
Number of Westerners have been detained by armed gunmen during Yemen's war, nearly all have since been released.
Middle East Online

Rebels ran over Yemen's capital Sanaa three years ago.

SANAA - Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a 63-year-old American, who has lived in Yemen for more than two decades, in the rebel-held capital Sanaa over the weekend, his family said on Tuesday.

Texas native Danny Burch was seized as he was walking back to his home in Sanaa after dropping off his children at a swimming pool, his family said.

A number of Westerners have been detained by the rebels since they overran the capital three years ago but nearly all have been released following mediation by neighbouring Oman.

Foreigners have also been abducted by the country's heavily armed tribes for use as bargaining chips in local disputes and there have been some kidnappings by Al-Qaeda.

Burch's wife Nadia Forsa al-Harazi urged the Huthi Shiite rebels to secure the release of her husband, in a telephone call with AFP.

She said her husband had lived in the capital for more than 20 years, making it his home. The couple has three children, the eldest 12.

The couple's niece, Rasha al-Harazi, told AFP that Burch had been working for the oil company Safer in Marib, a mainly government-held province east of the capital.

He had returned to work there three months ago, when controls on travel between rebel- and government-held areas eased for the first time in three years.

Burch would come home to the capital "every now and then" to see his wife and children, Harazi told AFP.

The family learnt of his kidnapping through friends and contacts in Sanaa but could not be sure who the kidnappers were.

A State Department official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said: "We are aware of reports of a US citizen missing in Yemen," adding: "We have no further information to offer at this time".

 

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism