Political Analysis

Finnish diplomat arrives in Yemen following kidnapping of tourists

National Yemen

Walking With Grandfather in the Old City

BY NY Staff

In response to the kidnapping of three tourists, two of whom were from Finland, a Finnish diplomat arrived in Sana’a on Saturday to better track his countrymen’s situation.

A government security official announced that of the three tourists who were kidnapped by armed men last Friday, two are Finnish and one Austrian. The source stated that two of the tourists were studying Arabic in Sana’a and also that the Finnish woman just recently arrived in Yemen.

The Austrian Foreign Affairs Minister said the Austrian tourist was 26 years and also that the kidnappers had not yet demanded a ransom or made any other demands.

A local security source stated that the two students had been attending an Arabic language institute in Sana’a and had been preparing to embark on a trip to Aden by way of Taiz with the third kidnapped woman.

The same source said that ten days ago, Al-Qaeda militants had issued threats to kidnap tourists and break into banks if authorities failed to release fellow militants from prison.

“We don’t believe the kidnappers have left Yemen with the hostages, as security forces have covered all entrances to and exits from the capital,” added the source.

Kidnappings of tourists by tribes with government demands are not uncommon in Yemen. However, in recent times Al-Qaeda has become more involved in the kidnapping of foreigners. Saudi diplomat Abdullah Al-Khalidi, who has kidnapped in late march of this year, has yet to be released.