Yemeni kidnapper of German national says he is in 'good health'

A Yemeni kidnapper of a German national said Saturday that his captive was in

A Yemeni kidnapper of a German national said Saturday that his captive was in "good health" and consuming qat – an indigenous plant and popular local narcotic.

By Ali Oweida

SANAA - A Yemeni kidnapper of a German national said Saturday that his captive was in "good health" and consuming qat – an indigenous plant and popular local narcotic.

"The German national does not suffer any problem," Nasser Hereiqdan, who took part in the kidnapping of German national Rudiger Schwidt in Sanaa, told Anadolu Agency.

He said kidnappers of the German national "have refused any mediation with Yemeni authorities to release the German hostage unless their detained relatives are released".

He threatened to kidnap more people in Yemen "to show the government that we are able to twist its arms".

Hereiqdan and his fellows kidnapped Schwidt, 63, in early February. They keep him in a place unknown to the authorities.

Hereiqdan said that local authorities had moved his relatives from the eastern Maareb province to Sanaa.

"My relatives have not committed any criminal offences," he argued.

However, a security source said that Hereiqdan's relatives are accused of involvement in a military helicopter explosion in Maareb last August as well as the kidnap of tourists.

Yemen has remained in a state of relative chaos since the ouster of long-serving president Ali Abdullah Saleh in early 2012 as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings.

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