Yemen police arrest kidnapper of Dutch couple

Yemen policeSana'a, Yemen  - Yemeni police arrested on Tuesday one of the kidnappers who took a Dutch couple hostage for two weeks in a mountainous area east of the capital Sana'a, the Interior Ministry reported.

The ministry said in a statement that the kidnapper was among four men listed on an arrest warrant issued by police after the release of the hostages.

Jan Hogendoorn, 54, and his wife Heleen Janszen, 49, were taken captive at gunpoint by armed tribesmen as they were driving in a southern Sana'a suburb on March 31. They were released unharmed on April 13.

Hogendoorn is an expert at a water project funded by the Dutch government in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz.

The kidnappers, members of the al-Siraj clan, took the couple to the mountainous district of Bani-Dhabian, some 80 kilometres east of Sana'a. The kidnappers forced the two to disguise themselves as Arabs to avoid detection.

They said they abducted the Dutch couple to put pressure on the authorities to hold accountable two provincial police chiefs in the neighbouring province of Marib, allegedly for ordering an attack on members of the al-Siraj clan at a police checkpoint in April 2008.

They also demanded financial compensation for injuries that four of their follow clansmen suffered during the checkpoint gunfight. (dpa)