Kidnapped engineer not held by Al Qaeda: Japan

November 23rd, 2009 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Midi, Nov 23 (IANS/AKI) A Japanese engineer kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen earlier this month was not being held by Al Qaeda, the Japanese embassy in Yemen said Monday.
A tribal source had said Saturday that Al Qaeda gunmen had abducted the engineer Nov 15 and taken him to an unknown destination in the Maarib region east of Sanaa.

But a Yemeni official Sunday denied tribal claims that Al Qaeda had the hostage.

“He is still in the same place,” an embassy official told reporters.

There is growing international concern about the deteriorating security situation in Yemen.

Three Saudi soldiers were killed and a number of others were wounded as they fought to stop new cross-border raids by Yemeni rebels Saturday.

Saudi Arabia has imposed a naval blockade in the area to stop weapons being smuggled by militants.

Saudi airforce planes conducted operations in the border area, where the Yemeni rebels launched an attack on Saudi border guards earlier this month, the website said.

The rebels’ Nov 3 cross border raid into Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, raised concerns about the wider impact of instability in Yemen, one of the poorest nations outside Africa.

–IANS/AKI

sy/dg

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