Tuesday, May 31, 2011

French missing in Yemen: the thesis of the abduction "is gaining credibility"

The vehicle of the three French aid workers missing since Saturday in Yemen was found "not damaged", which "confirms" the hypothesis of the kidnapping, said Monday, May 30 the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The spokesman of the Ministry has confirmed the news of a senior Yemeni security services who requested anonymity had said earlier, without qualification, that the pick-up of the French had been found on the road linking Seyoun and Shibam in the east.

"All security services are mobilized and rake the area, in the valleys and the desert," said Omair Omair Mubarak, number three in the province of Hadramaut, where the three French aid workers have been missing since Saturday. "The Hours passed and the assumption of a removal is gaining credibility.

But in the absence of any claim, it is premature to draw definitive conclusions", said earlier in the day, the spokesman of the ministry. "We therefore continue to explore all avenues, working closely with the Yemeni authorities, police forces and security in particular. We are in contact with the NGO Triangle (Generation Humanitaire) and with the families of our three compatriots "he added.

"While we have no evidence, either by a claim, either by physical evidence, kidnapping, I can not say that this is a kidnapping," confirmed the Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe . The three French, two women and one man, working with a team of 17 Yemenis at Seyoun (600 km east of Sanaa), administrative capital of the vast desert province of Hadramaut.

They were there since March and refused any protection, according to Yemeni security services. Yemen was the scene of frequent kidnappings of foreigners by tribes to get prisoners released or road construction. More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped over the past 15 years, the majority being released unharmed.

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