Yemeni Officials Say Suspected Militants Abduct 5 UN Workers

BY AHMED AL-HAJ, Related Press

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Suspected al-Qaida militants have kidnapped 5 U.N. staff in southern Yemen, Yemeni officers stated on Saturday.

The officers stated the employees had been kidnapped within the southern province of Abyan late Friday and brought to an unknown location. They embody 4 Yemenis and a foreigner, they stated.

In response to a query concerning the abduction, United Nations U.N. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated “we’re conscious of this case however for apparent causes we aren’t commenting.” He didn’t elaborate.

Tribal leaders stated they had been negotiating with the abductors to safe the employees’ launch. They stated the abductors demanded a ransom and the discharge of some militants imprisoned by the internationally acknowledged authorities.

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The officers spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to temporary media and the tribal leaders did so for worry of reprisals.

The secessionist Southern Transitional Council, which controls a lot of Yemen’s south and is at odds with the Yemeni authorities, condemned the abductions as a “terrorist operation.”

The Yemeni authorities confirmed that the employees with the U.N. Division of Safety and Security had been kidnapped by unknown armed males, including that it was working to safe their launch. It didn’t present additional particulars.

Abductions are frequent in Yemen, an impoverished nation the place armed tribesmen and al-Qaida-linked militants take hostages to swap for prisoners or money.

Al-Qaida within the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has lengthy been thought of the worldwide community’s most harmful department, and has tried to hold out assaults on the U.S. mainland.

Yemen has been convulsed by civil struggle since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took management of the capital Sanaa and far of the nation’s north, forcing the internationally acknowledged authorities to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition entered the struggle in March 2015, backed by the US, to strive restore President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to energy.

Related Press author Edith M. Lederer contributed on this report from the United Nations.

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