Swiss hostage held in Al-Awlaki’s hometown in Shabwa
The foreign women, who works as an English teacher in a foreign language institute in Hodeida, was kidnapped last Tuesday from July 7th Street in the city.
The sources claim that the kidnapped teacher is being held in one of the mountains of Al-Saeed, 60 kilometers east of Shabwa’s capital, Ataq. They also claim that the abductors handed her over to the Ansar Shariah group who are believed to have links with Al-Qaeda.
In Nov. 2011, three French aid workers were freed from the same area after being abducted and held for three months. The Al-Saeed area was the hometown of the Al-Qaeda leader, Anwar Al-Awlaki. who was assassinated in late Sept. 2011 by a US drone attack. The area has been under the control of the Ansar Shariah group since June 2011.
Citizens from Al-Saeed said that a tribal sheikh of the Al-Awaliq tribesmen are mediating between the local government of Shabwa and the abductors for the release of the teacher.
Other unconfirmed sources said that the abductors are demanding a ransom of YR 250 million for the teacher’s release, pointing out that talks are still ongoing.
Abd Rabo Hishla, secretary general of the local authority in Shabwa, refused to comment on the situation, merely saying “I do not confirm it, nor deny it.”
Similarly, tribal sources in Shabwa have said on Tuesday that the acting ambassador for Switzerland in the capital Sana’a, has made telephone contact with a number of tribal and community leaders in Shabwa seeking their assistance in mediating with the kidnappers to have the Swiss hostage released.