May 24, 2017 / 8:52 AM / 3 years ago

Kidnapped Australian freed in Yemen after Oman mediation

SYDNEY/DUBAI (Reuters) - An Australian man held captive for seven months has been freed by his kidnappers in Yemen and has been taken to neighbouring Oman, Australia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The unnamed man was captured in October by unnamed assailants. Oman’s foreign ministry said the man had been located after mediation with local tribes and that he was due to return home. It gave no further details.

“I confirm that an Australian kidnapped in Yemen in October last year has been released and is safe and well,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.

“I particularly thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, the Sultan of Oman, for Oman’s work to locate and receive the Australian national into Oman.”

She said she would give no further details on the case in order to protect other Australians who remain captive overseas or who face the risk of kidnapping.

Oman has used its relationship with Yemen’s dominant Houthi group several times to help free foreign nationals who have gone missing or been detained in Yemen. In October last year, it helped in the release of a French-Tunisian Red Cross worker.

Oman’s foreign ministry, in a statement on state news agency ONA, did not say where the man had been located or which group had released him.

Reporting by Byron Kaye and Sylvia Westall; Editing by Louise Ireland

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