• Germany's news in English

Kidnapped German family may still be alive in Yemen

DPA/The Local · 23 Dec 2009, 09:48

Published: 23 Dec 2009 09:48 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A video from recent weeks in possession of the German government shows the three young children alive, an official revealed to the paper.

“The children look exhausted,” the official said.

The Saxony family of health workers Johannes and Sabine H. has not been seen since they were abducted along with four other foreigners in the country’s Saada province in mid-June. Authorities there believe that the kidnappers may be Shiite rebels from the mountainous region near the Saudi border.

Three of the hostages – two German women and a South Korean woman - were found murdered by Yemeni authorities three days later.

The Foreign Ministry has refused to confirm the report that the children could still be alive, news agency DPA reported.

“The crisis squad continues to find a solution to the problem,” a spokesperson told the agency.

Yemeni officials launched a massive search for the remaining hostages, but since then there has been no trace of the family – which includes Lydia (5), Anna (3) and Simon (1).

Foreigners are often kidnapped in Yemen by tribesmen to be used as bargaining chips in disputes with the government. More than 200 foreigners have been abducted over the past 15 years.

Story continues below…

In June 2000, a Norwegian diplomat was killed in a gunfight between police and his abductors.

In December 1998, three Britons and an Australian seized by Islamist militants were killed when security forces stormed the kidnappers' hideout. In March of this year, four South Korean visitors to Yemen were killed in an Al-Qaeda suicide bombing at a historic tourist site.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:45 December 23, 2009 by Frenemy
"Authorities there believe that the kidnappers may be Shiite rebels from the mountainous region near the Saudi border. "

Excuse me?! Unless you're talking about the ~200 klicks from the red sea south of khamis mushayt...THERE ARE NO MOUNTAINS along the Saudi-Yemeni border!!! (even cursory glance at a Google Maps image of that area should prove that). And even if this report were referring to the Western border region...to the best of my knowledge there are no "shiite rebels" located there....

@crusoe: lol...indeed! Very true buddy. [I found that comment very encouraging. I'm glad to see that there still people that know how to speak (write) proper English in this world...]
15:42 December 24, 2009 by mixxim
The ant hills or whatever they were looked like mountains to me, perhaps you should go there before you comment.
16:35 December 24, 2009 by Frenemy
I'm pretty sure that a HALO drop outta Diego Garcia counts as having been there!! What else do you need, a "wish you were here" postcard???
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd