January 28, 1996 in Nation/World

Tribesmen In Yemen Release French Hostage

Compiled From Wire Services

Tribesmen on Saturday freed one of 17 elderly French tourists they kidnapped to press for the release an imprisoned relative, the French Foreign Ministry said.

The hostages were grabbed Thursday in Ma’rib, 120 miles east of San’a, the capital of this impoverished nation on the southwestern tip of the Arabian peninsula. They were moved to Ma’en, a mountainous region some 310 miles southeast of the capital, government sources told The Associated Press.

The abductors belong to the Al Aslam tribe and are demanding the release of a relative jailed for kidnapping an American oilman in September, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Abdul Wali al-Shameeri, governor of the Ma’rib region, said the hostages were comfortable and helping the tribe pick oranges.

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