Yemeni Mediators Optimistic over Quick Release of German Hostage
Yemeni mediators were optimistic Sunday for a quick release of a German diplomat kidnapped in Sanaa by armed men and taken to a remote mountain hide-out, a tribal source said.
"We are optimistic about the quick release of the hostage," said the source, close to Sheikh Ahmed Saleh Al Aamissi, chief mediator and a leader of the same tribe as the kidnappers.
He did not elaborate on the mediation efforts for the German diplomat, held by a group called Uled Ameur, in the village of Al Dhalaa, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of the capital in the Al Aamass region.
"The kidnappers are demanding compensation from the government for land at the centre of a conflict with another tribe and which they want to take over," the source told AFP.
He could not say if the government could satisfy the demands.
"Talks are continuing," he said, adding that the government wanted a "peaceful resolution to the affair" and had not deployed troops to the region to try to force the release of the German, who has not been named.
A German foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday the diplomat, who worked in the embassy's commercial section, was alive and well.
Gunmen snatched the man from his car in the diplomatic quarter of Sanaa on Friday as he was returning from the airport with his wife, police said.
Kidnappings are frequent in Yemen by tribesmen seeking concessions from the government or from foreign oil companies. More than 200 foreigners, mostly western nationals, including around 20 Germans, have been seized since 1991 -- SANAA (AFP)
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