Monday November 24, 2014

Red Cross says French staffer abducted in Yemen, identity of kidnappers unclear

GENEVA - A Frenchman working for the Red Cross in Yemen has been kidnapped and there has not been any contact with his abductors, a spokeswoman said Sunday.

The man was taken from his car, which was stopped on a road while he was being driven to the port city of Hudayda, International Committee of the Red Cross spokeswoman Marie-Servane Desjonqueres said. The group declinted to identify him.

"We are of course very concerned about the security and safety of our colleague," Desjonqueres told The Associated Press. "And we are calling upon the abductors to let him go safely, immediately and unconditionally."

She said the delegate was kidnapped Saturday afternoon on the road about 30 to 40 kilometres (20 to 25 miles) before Hudayda, from where he had planned to fly to the capital Sanaa.

Two Yemeni drivers who also worked for the Red Cross were briefly captured, then released during the abduction, she said.

"For the time being, we don't know the identity of the captors," she added.

Kidnapping of foreigners is frequent in Yemen, where hostages are used as bargaining chips to secure release of Yemeni prisoners or to get cash.


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