By NY Staff
A Czech doctor was freed several hours after being kidnapped by gunmen in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, security sources said.
The doctor was walking to work at a private hospital when the armed assailants blocked her way with their car and seized her, the sources said. She was the fourth foreigner to be snatched in less than a month .
Security sources said on Sunday the kidnappers later freed the woman unharmed, leaving her on a main road east of the capital, and that she returned home on her own. The reasons for the kidnapping and the release were not immediately clear.
The kidnapping followed the abduction of a British oil worker by unidentified gunmen and a German seized by Yemeni tribesman to press for the release of their jailed relatives.
The escalation of kidnappings within the past months has put the Yemeni government in an unenviable position in and outside the country. The government has pledged in its first rooting with this phenomenon and it will not tolerate the prosecution of the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. These assurances remained just promises like the other undertakings that lasted the previous governments for more than two decades.
There are two reasons behind the kidnappings and violence against foreigners in Yemen. The first, which is mostly played out by tribal elements, either for the purpose of extortion and ransom or to put pressure on the government to release some of the prisoners in forcing them to bow to the demands of some personal or social aspects. Secondly, the type of kidnappings is carried out by extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda or the elements of jihadist allied with organizations and such operations that ends mostly in blood. Since last year it has taken a new turn, dividing between politics and the motives of revenge to swap the victims for money.
Once we begin to think that this event would be the last incident, another kidnapping takes place; in Hadda street, unknown gunmen kidnapped a Russian doctor in the south of the capital Sana’a. The sources pointed out that a number of the gunmen were riding a car type «haba», while the Russian doctor was on her way to her office. Forcing her to ride out the car and flee to an unknown location. This incident came a few days after the disappearance of a British teacher from the area close to Hadaa Street, and before that was the kidnapping of a German citizen who works in one of the oil companies within Yemen.
The United Nations has condemned the kidnapping incidents in Yemen, pointing out that the granting of the kidnappers’ ransom money has caused an increase in cases of kidnapping, in addition to that a large portion of those funds reach to the hands of al-Qaeda.