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".

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe