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Swiss hostage released in Yemen

GB

 

A Swiss woman seized by armed men in Yemen a year ago, was freed Tuesday, the foreign ministry has confirmed.

Ministry officials told the Swiss News Agency late on Tuesday that representatives of the ministry had taken charge of the 33-year-old woman.
 
She will soon return to Switzerland from Doha, the authorities added, saying that the teacher is “doing well considering the circumstances.”
 
Switzerland is very grateful towards the State of Qatar for the “exceptional efforts undertaken in connection with the release,” the ministry told the news agency.
 
Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter spoke to the former hostage by phone just before midnight, spokesman Jean-Marc Crevoisier said. Crevoisier said no ransom was paid.
 
The woman was working in a language school in the southwestern port city of Hodeida when she was kidnapped from her house on March 12 last year. Video messages were sent in May and August.
 
Immediately following the kidnapping, the foreign ministry established a task force to investigate the case.
 
The ministry declined to comment further “out of consideration for the privacy of the people involved”.
 
Kidnappings of foreigners by armed tribes occur quite frequently in Yemen, as a way of putting pressure on the authorities over certain demands. Most victims are returned safely afterwards.
 
Swiss authorities are warning against travelling to Yemen and have recommended the Swiss living there to leave the country.