Saudis kidnapped in Yemen recall ordeal
A Saudi citizen and his son-in-law took a trip to Yemen that quickly turned into a nightmare when they were abducted
Last week, a Saudi citizen and his son-in-law took a trip to Yemen that quickly turned into a nightmare when they were abducted and held hostage on a farm for six days.
Abdullah Ali Solaiman Daghas Hamdi, 65, and Hussain Ahmed Hamdi said they entered Yemen for a picnic via the al-Tawwal border outpost and visited many places before being abducted at a rest house in Haradh, a border town, while having lunch.
They said three people armed with machine guns came to the rest house, claimed they were from security forces and asked them to accompany them because the pair were wanted for a certain crime.
They said that when they asked about their crime they were ordered to stay silent.
The two supposed hostages said they were taken to a farm where they met a man named Saleh who introduced himself as the leader of the group.
They said Saleh told them a man from their village had embezzled his money and he wanted them to talk to this man to return his money to him.
The two hostages said they refused to give in to the man’s orders so he decided to keep them locked in a building on the farm.
They said Saleh held them responsible for returning his money to him and threatened to kidnap more Saudis until he was paid the money. “The kidnappers called our family in Saudi Arabia, asking them to pay the ransom for our release,” the old man said.
They said they tried to explain to Saleh that they did not know the man who owed him money and that they had no cash to compensate him.
The kidnappers treated them very harshly and gave very little food, they claimed.
Hussain said: “After we were kept for six days in the farm, the kidnappers put us in a car and drove us back to our rest house.
“From there we lost no time at all to take a car and come back to our home.”
Abdullah’s son Ibrahim said the kidnappers called the family and demanded a ransom of SR300,000 ($79,993) in exchange for the release of their father and brother-in-law.
The son said a number of tribal chiefs from Saudi Arabia and Yemen mediated in the case that led to the release of the two hostages.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on March 12, 2014.
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