14:43 GMT +321 January 2020
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    A group of seven Yemenis and a US serviceman who were taken hostage by a group linked to al-Qaeda have been freed by Yemeni Special Forces.

    MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) — Yemeni troops have freed eight hostages on Tuesday, from a group of al-Qaeda militants who were killed in a dawn raid, reports AFP.

    "After security services received information on the location of the terrorist al-Qaeda elements that kidnapped eight hostages — seven Yemenis and a foreigner — anti-terrorism forces carried out a successful dawn operation which freed all the hostages," according to the official with Yemen's Supreme Security Committee.

    A Yemeni government source told Reuters that the freed American was a military instructor who worked at al-Anad air base in Lahij province, about 60km north of the port city of Aden.

    The US embassy in the capital, Sanaa, has refused to comment on the reports, stated BBC.

    According to the official, all seven kidnappers died in the rescue operation at an undisclosed location. A member of the security forces was lightly wounded in the raid, reported AFP.

    Hundreds of people have been kidnapped in Yemen over the past two decades, mostly by tribesmen who use them as bait in disputes with the government. Nearly all have been freed unharmed but over the past few years, al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate, regarded by Washington as the most dangerous subsidiary of the jihadist network, has posed an increased threat.

    Some of the people who are still in captivity with al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate are a South African teacher, a Saudi deputy consul kidnapped in the southern city of Aden in 2012 and Iranian embassy staffer Nour Ahmad Nikbakht, who was abducted by suspected al-Qaeda militants in the capital Sanaa in July last year, as reports AFP.

    The militant group has exploited instability in the impoverished country since a 2011 uprising overthrew President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


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    militants, soldiers, hostage, terrorism, military operation, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Yemen, Sanaa
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