Norway says UN worker kidnapped in Yemen released

AFP , Friday 27 Jan 2012

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere declares the release of a Norwegian UN employee in the restive Yemeni province Marib

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Photo:AP)

A Norwegian UN employee kidnapped in Yemen earlier this month by members of a tribe in the restive Marib province has been released following negotiations, the Norwegian government said Friday.

"I am very pleased and relieved that the Norwegian who was kidnapped in Yemen has been released and that he is unharmed," Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a statement.

The 34-year-old man was abducted off the street in Sanaa nearly two weeks ago by armed men aiming to put pressure on the Yemeni government to release members of their tribe being held for among other things killing four soldiers.

The conditions of the Norwegian man's release were not revealed.

"I would like to thank the Yemeni authorities for the determination they have shown in negotiating the Norwegian's release," Stoere said.

"I also greatly appreciate the close cooperation we have had with the UN, both in Sanaa and in New York," he added.

Tribes in Yemen often kidnap foreigners to put pressure on the authorities. More than 200 foreigners have been abducted over the past 15 years, with almost all later freed unharmed.

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