Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Saudi Arabia's deputy consul abducted in Aden

Saudi Arabia's deputy consul Abdullah al-Khalidi has been abducted in the southern city of Aden. According to police officials in the city's Mansoura district, gunmen seized al-Khalidi as he was about to get into his car. They fled the scene in another vehicle. A rescue operation is under way to find the official.

Aden is a large city closest to the Abyan province, where government forces have been working to control militant groups linked to Al-Qa'ida. It is thought that in the past year alone these groups have consolidated their power over a number of towns in the region, including Zinjibar.

The situation in Yemen remains troubled, with kidnappings becoming more common as lawlessness increases. Kidnap victims are often used as bargaining tools in disputes between rival factions and groups.

Earlier today, Saudi Arabia announced that it would provide Yemen with all its petroleum needs for two months. The deal was agreed during a meeting between Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

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