French aid worker released in Yemen

July 15th, 2012 - 9:40 am ICT by IANS  

Sana’a, July 15 (IANS) A French aid worker who was kidnapped by suspected Al Qaeda gunmen three months ago in Yemen has been released, Xinhua reported.

Benjamin Malbrancke, a Red Cross worker, was abducted April 21 by armed men near the western port city of Hodayda in northern Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement.

“We are relieved and extremely happy to have our colleague back with us, in good health. His return marks the end of many long, hard days, full of anxiety for him and his family, as well as for the team here in Yemen and for his friends,” said Eric Marclay, head of the ICRC operations in the country.

It was the second kidnapping targeting westerners in Hodayda this year. Suspected Al Qaeda militants abducted a Swiss woman working as a language teacher in March. The kidnappers are still holding the women and demanding a ransom.

A Yemeni security official told Xinhua that Al Qaeda leaders have “decided not to abduct any aid worker in the future”.

They have “ordered that any humanitarian aid worker must not be kidnapped for any reason in accordance to Islamic Law”, the official cited tribal sources close to the terrorist group as saying.

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