German Hostage Moved to the Mountains [Archives:2001/38/Front Page]

September 17 2001

Tribal sources told the Yemen Times that the German Commercial Attaché, Rainer Burns, was moved last Wednesday to a mountainous area that is difficult for the government troops to reach. They added that moving the German hostage happened last Wednesday morning after five RPG missiles were fired at the government forces stationed in the area. “The German hostage was moved while the government’s troops were watching him, but remained helpless as the kidnappers pointed guns at his head and threatened to kill him if the troops made any attempt to intervene,” a source told Yemen Times.
The abductors then took the German diplomat on foot to a mountainous area amid news reports that his health condition has greatly deteriorated. A tribal source added that the kidnappers Mohammed Ali Al-Zaidi, Ahmed Ali Al-Zaidi and a third person, who all belong to Al-Zaidi tribe, refused to submit themselves or the hostage to Sheikh Rabish bin Ka’alan, Sheikh Sultan Al-Aradah and Sheik Tariq Al-Fathli. The same source added that negotiations and mediations of these sheikhs are underway, however, no solution has so far been reached.
On the other hand, security forces in the Mareb Governorate detained Hassan Al-Zaidi, a journalist of the Yemen Times, in Mareb on Saturday while he was heading to a certain area at the governorate. Al-Zaidi is said to be at a detention belonging to the Political Security Office in Mareb and no visits are allowed to him at the detention. In a press release addressed to the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, the Yemen Times urged the immediate release of Mr. Al-Zaidi and described detaining him as a violation of human rights. The release further demanded that the governor of Mareb and all the authorities concerned promptly release him.