• Switzerland edition
 
Swiss woman's captors: Free bin Laden's wives
Craig BCN (File)

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

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train
Photo: Sebastian Widmann/AFP/Getty Images

Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train

An investigation is under way into the death of a man in a wheelchair who was killed on Tuesday by a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train travelling through the Roggwil-Wynau train station in the canton of Bern. READ  

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP/File

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking

Computer hackers are using a “trojan horse” virus to target users of 16 Swiss online banking sites, according to reports from security experts who liken the “holes” in internet banking security to Emmental cheese. READ  

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland
Charles C. Adams Jr. Photo: Paul Ronga

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland

President Barack Obama has named Charles C. Adams Jr., a prominent American lawyer and Democratic Party supporter living in Geneva, as US ambassador to Finland. READ  

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits
Photo: Swatch

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits

Swatch, the world’s biggest watch company, recorded lower profits for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, as the strong Swiss franc took its toll. READ  

Tax evasion fine soaks Credit Suisse in red ink
Photo: AFP

Tax evasion fine soaks Credit Suisse in red ink

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, posted an unexpectedly big net second-quarter loss on Tuesday as a huge US tax evasion fine sent it deep into the red. READ  

Nyon's Paléo music festival off to muddy start
Elton John is set to make his first appearance at the Paléo festival. Photo: AFP

Nyon's Paléo music festival off to muddy start

The 39th Paléo music festival, getting under way on Tuesday in Nyon in the canton of Vaud, is struggling with muddy grounds after heavy rain. READ  

Troicki returns from ban with Swiss Open win
Viktor Troicki playing at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Troicki returns from ban with Swiss Open win

Viktor Troicki made the most of his return to tennis after serving a one-year ban as the Serb defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 on Monday to reach the second round of the Swiss Open in Gstaad. READ  

Police seek witnesses in Vevey stabbing death
Vevey: residents stunned by stabbing death. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Police seek witnesses in Vevey stabbing death

Vaud cantonal police were seeking witnesses after a 32-year-old man was stabbed to death in Vevey on Monday. READ  

Bern football player's own goal goes global
Photo: YouTube/Screenshot

Bern football player's own goal goes global

Milan Gajic, a player for the Bern football team Young Boys, is facing the embarrassment of a lifetime after a video of his own goal over the weekend went viral on the internet. READ  

Julius Bär faces US penalty over tax evasion
Photo: Sporst

Julius Bär faces US penalty over tax evasion

Julius Bär said on Monday it expects to strike a deal with American authorities over a probe into the Swiss bank's role in helping Americans evade taxes by the end of the year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
National
Zurich's new rail line and underground station open 'without a hitch'
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher faces life as invalid: Swiss specialist
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

2,147
jobs available