Doctor’s kidnappers make demands

Reuters, AFP, Monday 29 Nov 2010

Gunmen kidnapped a Saudi doctor in north Yemen demanding the release of nine imprisoned Al-Qaeda members

A Saudi doctor was kidnapped Sunday in north Yemen by gunmen demanding the release of nine imprisoned Al-Qaeda members, police sources revealed on Monday.

The 48-year-old Dhafer Al-Shihri, acting head of Al-Salam hospital in the city of Saada, was kidnapped near the Saudi Arabia border as he returned to Yemen, officials said.

"The kidnappers drove the hostage to the region of Wadi Al-Ghabara", 70 kilometers north of Saada, a local official told AFP.

"They are seeking the release of nine members of Al-Qaeda imprisoned in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.”

"Among them are Saleh al-Tyss and Abdullah al-Ahdal, two leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula held in Yemen, and Saleh al-Shihri, another AQAP leader jailed in Saudi Arabia," said the official.

Saada is a stronghold of Zaidi Shia rebels.  

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen confirmed the kidnapping blaming tribal elements in north Yemen.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda branch claimed the kidnapping of a senior intelligence official in Saada and demanded the release of two jailed militants.


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