By NY Staff
This past Friday, a tribal leader stated that Yemen’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, which is holding three kidnapped Europeans hostage, has demanded $50 million for the foreigners’ release.
“The organization demanded the money from the military leader who has been situated near Al-Manaseh directorate since last month, seeking the release of the kidnapped foreigners,” he said.
The three foreigners were kidnapped in Sana’a and were then reportedly taken to Al-Beida governorate.
Al-Qaeda leader Tareq Al-Dhahab has denied that the European hostages are in his group’s possession and expressed a willingness to withdraw from their current position in Al-Beida governorate to avoid battles with the military.
“The head of the military campaign rejected our conditions and vowed to launch a large-scale military attack against us, and so we informed the tribal mediation committee of our readiness to fight back,” said Dhahab.
Tribal sources have stated that mediation efforts between the militant organization and the military failed, and that large numbers of military personnel have surrounded Al-Manaseh directorate.
Sources say that around 700 families escaped from their homes and traveled to towns in Al-Beida and Dhamar governorates.
Yemeni authorities have enhanced security procedures at entries to the capital in preparation for any attacks which may be launched by Al-Qaeda militants.
Many soldiers were also deployed to Heziaz district in Sana’a’s south, where Houthis have increased their presence and activity of late.