Former German deputy foreign minister and family abducted in Yemen

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jürgen Chrobog (1995)

Jürgen Chrobog, former Secretary of State in the German Foreign Office, was abducted today in eastern Yemen, along with his wife, their three children, and three locals.

The family was travelling as part of a large group in the country when their vehicle went missing around 460 km east of the capital Sanaá. According the Yemeni interior ministry they were abducted by a tribal group.

Reuters named the captors as members of the Al-Abdullah tribe who told the news agency by phone that the life of the family is not in danger and that they are their "guests". They are reportedly demanding that the Yemeni government release member of their tribe from prison.

A spokesperson for the German Foreign Office said it is unknown whether Chrobog was singled out or if it was just a coincidence that he and his family were taken.

Chrobog had been the German ambassador to the United States from 1994 till 2001 when he transferred to the Foreign Office, where he himself negotiated the release of Germans held abroad.

This incident is the fourth time this year that foreigners were abducted in the country to blackmail the Yemeni government.