DOHA (Reuters) - The Doha-based Al Jazeera news channel said on Thursday three of its journalists had been kidnapped in the besieged Yemeni city of Taiz and demanded their immediate release.
Al Jazeera said its Arabic correspondent Hamdi Al-Bokari and his crew, Abdulaziz Al-Sabri and Moneer Al-Sabai, had last been seen late on Monday in Taiz, which is located in the southwest of the impoverished, war-battered Arabian Peninsula nation.
“They were covering events in the besieged city of Taiz reporting on the human cost of the conflict. Our colleagues were simply doing their job of reporting the story and informing the world of what is taking place in Yemen,” said Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network.
“Al Jazeera holds their abductors responsible for their safety and security,” he said.
Saudi-backed fighters loyal to Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are battling Iran-allied Houthi militia and loyalists of the country’s former leader in a war that has raged for nine months and in which some 6,000 people have been killed.
The Qatari-funded news channel, whose reporting of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings won it millions of viewers in the Middle East, has seen several of its journalists detained and killed in recent years in conflicts across the region.
In December, it said a cameraman had died of his injuries several days after being shot and wounded in the flashpoint Syrian province of Homs.
Reporting by Tom Finn; Editing by Gareth Jones