Last updated: 24 December, 2012

Filipina nurse freed after brief abduction in Yemen

Yemeni security services freed a Filipina nurse two hours after she was kidnapped in Sanaa, state news agency Saba reported Monday, adding that her abductors have been arrested.

“Security services arrested two outlaws after they kidnapped a Filipina national late on Sunday in the capital Sanaa,” Saba quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying.

The men were arrested within two hours of carrying out the kidnap, the source said, identifying the woman taken hostage as 20-year-old Annie Jones, a nurse at a government hospital in Sanaa.

She was released unharmed, according to the spokesman.

No details were immediately available on the identities of the kidnappers and the reasons behind the abduction.

The kidnap was the second of foreigners in Sanaa within a 48-hour period.

Security forces are still searching for two Finns and an Austrian who were kidnapped, suspectedly by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, in the capital on Friday.

A security official had last week warned that Al-Qaeda had threatened to kidnap foreigners and to stage bank hold-ups if the authorities fail to release members of an imprisoned network.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country’s powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips in disputes with the authorities.

Almost all have been freed unharmed.

But Al-Qaeda is also held responsible for abductions in Yemen, including that of a Saudi diplomat, Abdallah al-Khalidi, who remains in the hands of the extremist network since his kidnapping on March 28 in Aden.