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Swiss woman's Yemeni captors want Osama's widows freed

Islamabad, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 30 (ANI): Yemeni captors of a Swiss woman have demanded that former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's widows to be freed, a tribal chief has said.

Al Qaeda militants abducted the woman on March 14 from her home in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, where she had been teaching at a foreign language institute. She was taken to far eastern Shabwa province.

Tribal chief Ali Abdullah Zibari, however, said that mediation efforts had so far failed because of excessive demands placed by her captors, including the release of bin Laden's widows held in Pakistan.

Zibari said the Islamic extremists also demanded the release of several women held in Iraq and Saudi Arabian return for the Swiss captive.

"Their initial demands for the release of (former Al Qaeda chief) Osama bin Laden's wives held in Pakistan were rejected by Yemeni officials last week," Zibari said, adding the group then placed new conditions for the Swiss woman's return.

"Now they're demanding the release of 100 Al Qaeda affiliated militants from Yemeni jails and 50 million euros (66 million dollars)... at which point the mediation efforts failed because of the prohibitive demands," he added.

Zibari played a crucial role in the release last November of three French aid workers kidnapped by Al Qaeda and held for five months. (ANI)


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