• Switzerland's news in English
 

Swiss woman's captors: Free bin Laden's wives

Published: 29 Mar 2012 15:21 GMT+02:00

A bid to release a Swiss woman kidnapped in Yemen has suffered a blow after her abductors made excessive demands, including for Osama bin Laden's widows to be freed, a tribal chief said on Thursday.

Al-Qaeda militants abducted the woman on March 14th from her home in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, where she had been teaching at a foreign language institute.

She was taken to far eastern Shabwa province.

Tribal chief Ali Abdullah Zibari said, however, that mediation efforts had so far failed because of excessive demands placed by her captors, including the release of bin Laden's widows held in Pakistan.

Zibari said the Islamic extremists also demanded the release of several women held in Iraq and Saudi Arabia in return for the Swiss captive.  

"Their initial demands for the release of (former Al-Qaeda chief) Osama bin Laden's wives held in Pakistan were rejected by Yemeni officials last week," Zibari told AFP, adding the group then placed new conditions for the Swiss woman's return.

"Now they're demanding the release of 100 Al-Qaeda affiliated militants from Yemeni jails and €50 million ($66 million)... at which point the mediation efforts failed because of the prohibitive demands," he said.

Zibari played a crucial role in the release last November of three French aid workers kidnapped by Al-Qaeda and held for five months.

Shabwa province is a stronghold of Al-Qaeda's local affiliate, the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), which has expanded its influence in recent months, taking advantage of the political turmoil that has swept the country and forced the resignation of veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Kidnappings were common even before the uprising against Saleh's rule that began last year.

More than 200 people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country's powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips with the authorities.

Almost all of those kidnapped were later freed unharmed.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Weather in China slows Solar Impulse's progress
Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Weather in China slows Solar Impulse's progress

Solar Impulse 2 landed early Tuesday in China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, as the Swiss aircraft completed the fifth leg of its landmark circumnavigation of the globe powered solely by the sun. READ  

US hits Ticino bank with $211-million penalty
Photo: BSI

US hits Ticino bank with $211-million penalty

Lugano-based bank BSI will pay a $211 million penalty after acknowledging it helped clients create sham identities to evade American taxes, the US Justice Department announced on Monday. READ  

Three jailed for beating Spanish DJ to death
Rhône River at Saint Maurice. Photo: Flobert/Wikimedia Commons

Three jailed for beating Spanish DJ to death

Three foreigners in their 20s are in jail after being convicted of killing a 37-year-old Spanish DJ in the town of Saint Maurice in the canton of Valais more than two years ago. READ  

Mid-air plane refuelling 'could slash costs'
Rendering of "feeder aircraft" docking with larger aircraft. Photo: cruiser-feeder.eu

Mid-air plane refuelling 'could slash costs'

A system for re-fuelling passenger planes mid-air could slash the amount of kerosene needed for a long haul flight by nearly a quarter, Swiss researchers said on Monday. READ  

Crane-climbing stunt flags 'roofer' concerns
Photo: Implenia

Crane-climbing stunt flags 'roofer' concerns

A fifteen-year-old boy who illegally climbed a 135-metre high construction crane in Zurich has raised concerns about a new craze for scaling tall buildings and structures. READ  

Solar Impulse flies to China on fifth flight
Pilot Bertrand Piccard talks to reporters in Myanmar before takeoff. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Solar Impulse flies to China on fifth flight

Switzerland's Solar Impulse 2 took off from Myanmar's second biggest city of Mandalay early on Monday and headed for China's Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. READ  

Young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug
Photo: Mobility

Young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug

A Swiss cooperative that allows members to share cars is shifting into high gear. READ  

Iran journo at Lausanne talks seeks Swiss asylum
Secretary of State John Kerry and other US officials meeting with Iran's Foreign MInister Javad Zarif and associates on Sunday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Pool/AFP

Iran journo at Lausanne talks seeks Swiss asylum

In the margins of intense talks in Lausanne to reach a deal over Iran’s nuclear future over the weekend an Iranian journalist took advantage of the situation to file a request for asylum in Switzerland, media reports said. READ  

Fewer foreigners buy Swiss holiday homes
Photo: Mirko Grifoni

Fewer foreigners buy Swiss holiday homes

Fewer foreigners are buying apartments in Switzerland as secondary residences, according to new federal government figures. READ  

 Swiss pilot dies in Ecuador volcano crash
Photo: Twitter

Swiss pilot dies in Ecuador volcano crash

A Swiss aviator attempting to circumnavigate the world in 20 months in a lightweight two-seater aircraft died at the weekend after crashing into a volcano in central Ecuador, officials said. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Mobility takes off as young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug
Features
Six steps for expats to get along better with the Swiss
Business & Money
Ethical Coffee Company aims to beat Nespresso in home market
National
Use of temporary staffing continues to rise in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Need help with permits and registration in Switzerland?
National
Swiss foreign affairs minister touted as candidate for top UN job
National
One of Switzerland's most celebrated artists dies in Lucerne at 106
Business & Money
Swiss luxury brand Tag Heuer announces plans for smartwatch
National
Valais lights up 13 mountain peaks for 200th anniversary
Business & Money
Switzerland to avoid recession this year: Credit Suisse forecast
Business & Money
Europe's tallest hotel pitched for Swiss mountain village
National
Exlusive interview: surviving Swiss cousin remembers Anne Frank
National
New Credit Suisse chief executive 'offers hope for Africans'
Features
Top tips to help you find an apartment in Switzerland
Business & Money
American expat to make way for African as Credit Suisse CEO
National
Rising Swiss gender pay gap above European Union average
National
Political deal reached to enact Swiss holiday home restrictions
National
Optimism drives this year's Geneva International Motor show
National
Robust Swiss economy beats forecasts for 2014: government
Sport
Federer scores upset win against Djokovic for seventh Dubai title
National
Swiss train in collision near Zurich ignored stop signal: SBB
Technology
Switzerland best in world for per capita European patent filings
Education
New EPFL building to showcase art and science 'under one roof'
National
Same-sex marriage supported by most Swiss: opinion polls
National
New study finds Switzerland is world's best place to retire
National
Army official calls for Swiss women to undergo military training
National
New Swiss health campaign combats smoking as 'norm' for too many
Culture
Abba star Frida records song about first ascent of the Matterhorn
National
Swiss federal government unveils EU immigration quotas bill
Business & Money
HSBC Swiss private bank revelations 'tip of iceberg': whistleblower
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Phil Collins' paralyzed ex-wife files lawsuit after Swiss complications
Culture
Gauguin on display in Basel touted as 'most costly painting ever'
Business & Money
Swiss Leaks: HSBC Swiss private bank 'catered to terrorists and crooks'
International
What's keeping British expats in Europe from voting in UK elections?
Business & Money
Trade balance bulges as Switzerland smashes record for exports in 2015
National
Swiss town's ploy against workers living in Italy 'not racist'
National
Architects propose skyscrapers for new Geneva 'urban centre'
Culture
Renowned Israeli conductor dies during symphony in Lucerne
International
Population of Swiss citizens abroad continues to expand
National
Vaud property salesman jailed over costly gambling addiction
National
Right-wing group seeks citizens' vote for national face veil ban
Health
Swiss doctors 'worst' for leaving foreign objects in patients
Features
Anglophone expats in Switzerland mine creativity to earn crust
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,686
jobs available