World / Middle East

French aid worker kidnapped in Yemen

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-04-22 07:35

SANAA - A French aid worker was kidnapped by gunmen late on Saturday in Yemen's western port city of Hodayda, an official of the interior ministry told Xinhua.

"Gunmen snatched a French man, who works with the International Committee of the Red Cross, when he was returning from the northern province of Hajja to the port city of Hodayda in a convoy," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping yet.

It was the second kidnapping targeting westerners in Hodayda in a month after suspected al-Qaida members abducted a Swiss woman working as a language teacher on March 14. The kidnappers are still holding the women and demand a ransom.

Also in March, al-Qaida snatched a Saudi diplomat in the southern port city of Aden. They later moved him to neighboring Abyan province and demand a ransom and the release of the militants in Saudi prisons, according to the Saudi interior ministry.

Yemen has long been plagued by kidnappings of foreigners by powerful tribesmen and sometimes terrorists who seek ransoms or their demands being granted by the government, including the release of jailed clansmen.

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