A Yemeni soldier mans a checkpoint in the capital Sanaa on December 24, 2012
A Yemeni soldier mans a checkpoint in the capital Sanaa on December 24, 2012. Yemeni authorities have freed a Dutch man held captive for a week after being kidnapped by tribesmen in the country's west, the interior ministry announced on Sunday. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP/File
A Yemeni soldier mans a checkpoint in the capital Sanaa on December 24, 2012
AFP
Last updated: February 19, 2013

Yemen frees Dutch kidnap victim

Yemeni authorities have freed a Dutch man held captive for a week after being kidnapped by tribesmen in the country's west, the interior ministry announced on Sunday.

"Security forces freed a Dutch man kidnapped a week ago by tribesmen between the towns of Hard in Hajja province and Al-Zaidiya in Hodeida province," the ministry said in a statement on defence ministry news website 26sep.net.

"The man was taken to Sanaa and is in good health," it added.

The foreign ministry in The Netherlands said it had been informed of the possible kidnap of one of its citizens in Yemen, but without providing confirmation.

"Until now, it appears that the alleged victim was not kidnapped," ministry spokesman Christophe Kamp told AFP, adding that his country was in contact with the man's family and authorities in Sanaa.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, with almost all later released unharmed.

The authorities are still trying to free two Finns and an Austrian snatched from central Sanaa late last year, however.

The Austrian man and Finnish man and woman were abducted on December 21 as they prepared to travel to the southern port of Aden via Yemen's second city Taez.

Last month, Yemeni security officials said the three were being held by Al-Qaeda-linked tribesmen in the eastern province of Marib.

Most kidnappings of foreigners in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state are carried out by members of the country's powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government.

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