Saudi envoy urges king to act in hostage row
A Saudi Arabian diplomat kidnapped by Al Qaeda in Yemen has urged the Saudi ruler to meet his captors' demand for the release of women prisoners.
“I plead the custodian of the two mosques (Saudi King Abdullah) to bring me back to my family, to my children and wife,” Abdallah Al Khalidi said in a video message posted on the internet yesterday.
Al Khalidi is the deputy consul in the Yemeni port city of Aden. He was abducted in March.
“I plead King Abdullah... to save me and release me from Al Qaeda in return for the release of the imprisoned sisters,” he said.
The video was posted on an internet forum used by Al Qaeda members. Al Khalidi, who wore traditional robes and a red head-dress, did not specify who the women were or whether they were linked to Al Qaeda, but said they were held by Saudi security services.
There was nothing in the video to indicate when it was recorded and its authenticity could not be verified.
Last month, a militant who claimed responsibility for the kidnap threatened to kill Al Khalidi unless a ransom was paid and Al Qaeda prisoners were freed from Saudi jails.
Al Qaeda, emboldened by political instability in Yemen, has been waging war on the government. Bombers killed at least 12 people at a school and march on Friday.