French tourists return home [Archives:2006/985/Local News]

September 28 2006

By:Amel Al-Ariqi
SANA'A Sept. 26 ) Four French nationals who were held hostage for fifteen days in Yemen were back home in France on Wednesday only two days after they were freed.

The hostages arrived on an early morning flight to Paris where they were welcomed at the airport by French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy

The kidnapping took place on Sept. 10 in the Haban district of Shabwa province, about 460 kilometers from Sana'a, by armed tribesmen, who threatened to kill them to press Yemen's government to release jailed relatives.

The four men were freed Monday by their abductors, who belong to the Al-Abdullah clan – the same clan that kidnapped a German diplomat and his family last December.

The release of the tourists followed extensive negotiations with the kidnappers.

“After hard and tiring negotiations throughout the night