Mediation Bid Fails to Free Kidnapped Swede in Yemen
Tribal leaders have halted mediation efforts to free a Swedish technician kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen more than two weeks ago, tribal sources said Tuesday.
The kidnappers had also prevented delivery of drugs for 68-year-old Anders Salenius, who suffers from diabetes, by two envoys from his Swedish employer Sweco International, police said.
The kidnappers had demanded that the delivery be made by a member of the tribe, police said.
He was snatched on November 12 while working on the construction of an electricity plant north of the capital Sanaa, a World Bank-financed project.
Armed men from the Al-Zaidi tribe took him to the remote mountains of Suweida-Mahjaza, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Sanaa.
Letters from Salenius to his wife begging for help to secure his release and saying he was in bad health have been published in the Swedish press.
The kidnappers are reportedly demanding that the Yemeni government return a plot of land in the southern port city of Aden that they say was confiscated from the leader of the tribe, Yahia al-Zaidi.
More than 200 foreigners, mostly Western nationals, have been abducted by Yemen's unruly tribes in the last decade. They are usually used as bargaining chips in disputes with the Sanaa government or with foreign oil companies.
Almost all hostage-takings have been resolved without bloodshed through mediation between the authorities and tribes, and the kidnap victims are generally well-treated -- SANAA (AFP)
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