Captors release video of French hostage in Yemen

Mohammed Huwais, AFP | A rally held in the Yemeni capital, Sanna, on March 5 to call for the release of Isabelle Prime and her translator Shereen Makawi
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France's foreign ministry has authenticated a video of a Frenchwoman taken hostage in Yemen in which she appeals to French and Yemeni authorities to seek her release, a ministry spokesperson told The Associated Press (AP) on Monday.


Romain Nadal told AP that officials from the ministry will meet Tuesday with the family of hostage Isabelle Prime, kidnapped in February while working for a consultancy firm with ties to the World Bank. The identity of her captors is unknown.

The existence of the video, which shows Prime appealing to President François Hollande and Yemen's exiled President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi to seek her release, was first reported by French regional daily Ouest-France on Monday.

Nadal said the government verified the authenticity of the video and that it was taken in April. He spoke on the sidelines of a climate conference that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is attending in Bonn, Germany.

There has been no public claim of responsibility for her abduction so far, although French officials have said they are working on her release without giving details. Prime's translator, Shereen Makawi, who was abducted at the same time, has already been freed.

In recent years, Yemeni tribesmen have taken foreigners hostage to press the government to provide them with services or to free jailed relatives. The country is also home to a very active branch of al Qaeda, while its capital and large swathes of its territory have been overrun by Shiite Houthi insurgents.


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