Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Mar 17, 2012 - 8:22:34 PM
A Swiss researcher has been kidnapped from Hodiedah city in the west of Yemen, said Yemeni and Swiss officials.
Yemeni security officials said the kidnapped was a women aged 32 that works as a researcher at an institute in the city of Hodeida and that tribesmen kidnapped her on Wednesday from her home.
The ministry of interior, quoting a Swiss friend of the hostage, said she had been teaching at a foreign language institute in Hodeida and was kidnapped from her home by men wearing military uniform who moved her to Shabwa province, a strong hold of al-Qaeda in the south east of Yemen.
Her friend said the abducted woman telephoned her to say her abductors are demanding "the release of prisoners held in Hodeida" in return for her freedom.
The Swiss Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday the abduction of its Swiss national, saying they are in contact with Yemeni authorities to ensure her release and safety.
A Yemeni security source from Shabwa said on Saturday that the security authorities have been hunting for suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen who abducted a Swiss woman this week.
However the source said so far they have not been able to locate where the Swiss woman is being held or know anything about her fate.
The abductors demanded the release of Ahmed Mohammed Morjan and Faez Mohammed Aliwa both are detained in Hodidah prison for criminal issues, said security sources. However other security authorities alleged that the detained are al-Qaeda suspects. The source added that the kidnapping incident bares hallmark of al-Qaeda.
“Only a well body such as al-Qaeda can prepare for such complicated kidnapping and move a hostage through three provinces,” said the security source.
Father, brother and a cousin of Morjan were arrested by the security authorities to pressure on them to give information of their involvement in the abduction or get from them any information that leads to the location of the hostage.
The Yemeni security authorities identified the kidnapped woman as 34-year-old Sylvia Abrahardat.
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