23 August 2015, News Wires – A British oil worker kidnapped in Yemen early last year has been freed by a military raid in the country by United Arab Emirates (UAE) troops.
Douglas Robert Semple, a petroleum engineer, was released from his captors some time in the past few days.
The 64-year-old was snatched from the Hadda district in the capital Sana’a in early February last year.
However, following the UAE forces raid, he was taken to the port city of Aden and flown my military aircraft to Abu Dhabi where he met the UK’s representative in the emirate.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayev al Nahyan informed UK Prime Minister David Cameron of the news on Saturday.
Cameron said in a message on his Twitter account on Sunday: “I’m so pleased for the family of the British hostage in Yemen – who has been released safe and well. Thanks to the UAE for their help.”
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement: “I’m pleased to confirm that a British hostage held in Yemen has been extracted by UAE forces in a military intelligence operation. The British national is safe and well, and is receiving support from British government officials. We are very grateful for the assistance of the UAE.”
Semple is said to have been working on a project in Hadramawt province when he was abducted by armed men in the early hours of 3 February, 2014.
Witnesses said the kidnappers struck the Briton on the head with the butt of a rifle, before driving him away towards an unknown location.