March 20, 2012
A Yemeni tribal leader claims a Swiss language teacher taken hostage last week from her home in the port city of Hodeida is safe and healthy.
Ali Abdallah Zebara told Agence France Presse that he was contacted by the Swiss embassy, and expects written authorization from Yemeni officials to begin negotiating for the woman’s release.
Zebara previous helped negotiate the release of three French humanitarian workers last November.
Initial reports indicated tribesmen wanted to trade the Swiss teacher for two tribal members held in jail.
Yesterday Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted a local tribal leader claiming the kidnappers wanted $1.2 million ransom.
Swiss officials would not confirm that report.