Al-Qaeda releases new video of UN worker abducted in Yemen

AFP , Tuesday 13 Jun 2023

Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch has released a new video of a United Nations worker abducted 16 months ago in the war-torn country, the SITE Intelligence Group said.

Al Qaeda Yemen
A picture taken with a mobile phone early on May 24, 2014 shows Al-Qaeda militants posing with Al-Qaeda flags in front of a museum in Seiyun, second Yemeni city of Hadramawt province. AFP


The man, who identified himself as Akam Sofyol Anam from the UN Department of Safety and Security in Aden, appealed for his release and warned he and two of his fellow abductees were "seriously ill".

In February 2022, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) kidnapped Anam and four others as they returned to the port city of Aden after a field mission.

Wearing a blue shirt and glasses and reading from a prepared statement, Anam -- identified by the SITE monitoring service as Bangladeshi -- said his sick colleagues needed urgent hospital treatment.

There was no way of knowing who prepared the statement, which appeared to have been recorded on June 3. A previous recording of Anam was released by his captors last September.

Yemen's conflict began in 2014 when Iran-backed Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year to prop up the internationally-recognised government.

AQAP and militants loyal to the Islamic State group have thrived in the chaos.

Formed in a merger of Al-Qaeda's Yemen and Saudi branches, AQAP has carried out attacks on both rebel and government targets in Yemen, as well as foreigners.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed directly or indirectly in Yemen's war.

But hostilities have sharply declined since a six-month, UN-brokered truce came into effect in April last year, even after it lapsed in October.

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