Yemeni tribesmen have released a Colombian hostage after 24 hours in captivity, reported The Washington Post newspaper.
The release of six humanitarian aid workers was secured Wednesday by Yemeni’s Electricity Minister, Saleh Someh.
A group of armed tribesmen intercepted the group on Tuesday as they returned from a visit to a displaced persons camp in northern Yemen. The kidnappers had hoped to exchange the hostages for a prisoner being held in the capital.
Someh, who is from the region, claimed that he used his influence to secure the release of the hostages without conceding to the kidnappers’ demands.
The group included four employees of the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), including a Colombian, a German, an Iraqi, and a Palestinian, as well as two Yemeni guides.
The kidnapping of foreigners is frequently used by Yemeni tribal groups to bargain with the government. More than 200 kidnappings have been reported in the last 15 years. The most recent was a Norwegian U.N. employee who was released last Friday.