Kidnapped ICRC staffers freed in Yemen

May 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM

SANAA, Yemen, May 16 (UPI) -- Three aid workers seized Monday by armed individuals in Yemen were freed and are safe in Aden, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The ICRC said three of its staff members, abducted Monday by gunmen while on a return trip from an aid mission in Abyan province, were released Thursday.

"We are relieved and extremely happy to have our colleagues back with us," ICRC chief Yemeni delegate Cedric Schweizer said in a statement. "We would like to thank all those who gave us their support unconditionally with the aim of getting our colleagues back safe and sound."

Yemen was one of the countries swept up in the so-called Arab Spring, a wave of uprisings that brought down the governments of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. A reconciliation campaign was launched last month in Yemen.

A Yemeni court in April ordered an investigation into former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and 11 of his aides in connection with the March 2011 attack on anti-government protesters.

The ICRC said it was continuing its mission in Yemen as it has since 1962, "providing aid for civilians affected by the various conflicts that have beset the country."

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