Yemeni troops search for missing hostages

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today, the Yemeni embassy in the United States announced that Yemeni troops and air support had been dispatched to search for six missing hostages, after three bodies were found on Saturday.

Reports suggest that the group of nine were having a picnic on Friday when they were abducted in the Saada province of Yemen. The three bodies discovered were those of a South Korean teacher and two German nurses. The missing six are believed to consist of five Germans, of whom three are children and a Briton.

A spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy said "[The foreigners] ventured outside the city of Saada without the required police escorts due to the heightened security situation in the area. This event was a heinous crime and constitutes not only a violation against the peaceful principles of Islam, but also the precepts of humanity."

It is currently unknown who is responsible for the kidnapping, with both Shiite rebels and drugs cartels being accused.

Yemen has suffered a string of kidnappings, normally of foreigners, although to date all were released unharmed. This would be the first instance first year of hostages being killed.