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Kidnapped Briton freed in Yemen: official

English.news.cn   2014-07-27 04:26:17

SANAA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A British man who was kidnapped by gunmen in Yemen's capital of Sanaa in February was released on Saturday, said a Yemeni interior ministry official.

The British national, Mike Harvey, who taught English in an educational institute was abducted on Hadda street in downtown Sanaa on Feb. 12, according to his wife who reported his absence to the Yemeni police.

Harvey had been then taken hostage in al-Jouf, a lawless desert province about 143 km northeast of Sanaa. His release was secured by a tribal mediation and a ransom has been paid, said the official on condition of anonymity.

He is in good health condition and has joined his wife at the British embassy in Sanaa, the official said.

Harvey was the third foreigner who were kidnapped in Sanaa earlier this year. A British oil worker was kidnapped on Feb. 3 and a German national were abducted on Jan. 31. The tribesmen who kidnapped the German national released him on May 13.

Security situation in the Arab country worsened after a political upheaval broke out in 2011 that severely weakened the government's control. Foreigners have since then been frequently kidnapped by al-Qaida militants or tribesmen who ask for ransoms or the release of their jailed fellows.

Most of the hostages have been freed unharmed. In January, al- Qaida militants released a South African woman in the southern province of Abyan, but a ransom of millions of dollars was demanded for the release of her husband, who was abducted in May last year, according to local media.

The Yemeni government has taken efforts to stabilize the unrest- hit country by holding a national reconciliation dialogue which ended in January after a 10-month debate.

Editor: yan
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