Monday, February 28, 2011

Russian Doctor Kidnapped in Yemen

ADEN- Feb 38, 2011- Tribesmen in southern Yemen kidnapped a Russian doctor on Monday, a hospital official said.

"A Russian doctor was abducted by gunmen and taken to the town of Al-Mahfad" in the nearby province of Abyan, the manager of the hospital in the town of Ataq in Shabwa, Mohammed Salman, told AFP.

Salman said that the doctor, who works at Ataq hospital, contacted him by telephone and told him that his abductors have "demands."

The tribesmen kidnapped the doctor in retaliation for an air strike by the Yemeni air force on a suspected Al-Qaeda training camp two years ago, a spokesman for the group said.

They were holding the doctor "to force the authorities to hold accountable those who carried out the raid on Al-Majaala," he said.

Yemeni forces carried out a deadly air strike on a suspected Al-Qaeda training camp in the village of Al-Majaala, in Abyan province, in December 2009.

The air raid killed 23 children and 17 women, a local official and tribal sources said at the time. The government said it targeted a suspected Al-Qaeda training camp killing around 30 militants, some of them foreigners.

The interior and defence ministers as well as the vice premier for security affairs had been due to appear before parliament to take questions about the raid but they never turned up.

Yemen's powerful tribes often kidnap foreigners for use as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government. Of about 200 foreigners seized in Yemen over the past decade, almost all have been released unharmed.

Source: AFP

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