Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Intense Search for Missing Hostages in Yemen

Yemeni police and military forces continued an intense search for 6 medical aid workers kidnapped over the weekend in an attack that left 3 members of their group dead. Via CNN:
(CNN) -- Reward money has climbed to $275,000 for information in the kidnapping of nine foreigners in Yemen -- three of whom have been found dead -- as troops search for the remaining six hostages, Yemeni officials said.

The Ministry of Interior offered a $250,000 reward, in addition to the $25,000 reward offered by the governor of Saada City -- both aimed at information leading to the arrest of the kidnappers -- according to the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.

Special forces and anti-terrorism teams with helicopters were sweeping the Saada area for the hostages, the embassy said Tuesday.

"Furthermore, Ministry of Interior have mobilized a massive police force, which in cooperation with the army, are working around the clock in the area until the perpetrators of this hideous crime are put to justice," a news release from the embassy said.

The bodies of a South Korean teacher and two German nurses, all in their 20s, arrived in Sana'a by helicopter, accompanied by Yemen's deputy minister of health, according to the release. News of their deaths did not surface until Monday. The nurses worked for a hospital in Saada run by the Dutch charity World Wide Services Foundation, according to Yemen's state-run SABA news agency.

Five Germans -- including three children -- and a Briton are still missing.

The group was part of a Baptist medical mission serving the Saada region of Yemen which has been embroiled in a civil war for several years. The government is blaming Houthi rebels for the abductions, but others believe that an Al Qaeda affiliated group is more likely to be responsible.

Please continue to pray for the protection and rescue of the missing hostages, and for the comfort and consolation of the families of the deceased.

Update on Aid Worker Abduction in Yemen
Aid Workers Kidnapped, Murdered in Yemen

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