Kidnapped French aid worker freed in Yemen: local official

24th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A French aid worker kidnapped in Yemen's restive south was released on Thursday, just two days after her abduction, an official told AFP.

"The Frenchwoman... was released along with two Yemenis," municipal official Hasan Ali told AFP.

Gunmen kidnapped the French aid worker, who is of Moroccan origin, on Tuesday along with two Yemenis.

They were on a mission in the southern province of Lahij and were travelling in a Red Cross vehicle, government and security officials said.

Ali said the kidnappers had been assured that activists from Yemen's separatist Southern Movement would be released from government custody once they freed the hostages.

"They received assurances that the prosecution will soon complete their interrogation of four detainees from the southern separatist movement and then set them free," said Ali, adding tribal leaders intervened to secure the release of the hostages.

Ali said he would take the French aid worker to see the governor of southern Lahij province.

"She is with me now and I'm on my to the Lahij governor," he said.

The woman and the two Yemenis -- a translator and driver -- were in a Red Cross vehicle when they were seized and taken to the adjacent village of Bashriya, according to government officials.

At the time, a source close to the kidnappers said they abducted the hostages to press for the release of Southern Movement activists arrested a day earlier in the southern port city of Aden, the south's former capital.

© 2011 AFP

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