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Intelligence officials: all Yemen hostages dead

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Intelligence officials: all Yemen hostages dead
Photo: DPA
11:38 CEST+02:00
German intelligence services believe that all nine hostages taken in Yemen have been killed by al-Qaida, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

The paper said the country's intelligence services are basing their conclusions on the "brutality" of the kidnappers.

"The Germans are particularly in al-Qaida's line of fire. Al-Qaida is intensifying things. We should prepare ourselves for additional deaths," an unnamed official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Several television stations said late Monday that all nine kidnap victims had been killed, although no official announcement of deaths has yet been made.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that the government "has to assume" at least two German women missing are dead.

Steinmeier said that three bodies were found in northern Yemen near where

the group was last seen. The German embassy in Sanaa despatched a staff member and reported back to a crisis team in Berlin.

"We unfortunately have to assume that two German women who had been missing are among the dead," he told reporters in Berlin.

Three female hostages, two Germans and one South Korean who were kidnapped along with six other foreigners, were found dead in northern Yemen on Monday, an official at the Interior Ministry said.

Earlier, Yemeni security officials said seven foreign hostages including a child have been found murdered, the first time in a decade that such kidnappings had resulted in deaths.

The authorities had accused Shiite Zaidi rebels in Saada of seizing seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean woman teacher. Among the hostages were three German children. The rebels denied the charge.

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