- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Forces free Germans kidnapped in Yemen

RIYADH | Saudi security forces rescued two German girls held hostage for nearly a year in the rugged north Yemen mountains, but the fate of their parents and an infant brother was unknown, officials said Tuesday.

Germany welcomed news of the rescue, while a relative of the family said they presumed the 1-year-old brother is dead. There also was no word on the fate of a Briton abducted with them.

Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told Agence France-Presse that the two girls, aged 3 and 5, were in a Saudi hospital. “Their condition is OK,” he said.

A ministry statement said the girls were freed on Monday.

The girls were part of a group of seven Germans, a British man and a South Korean woman seized in Yemen’s northern mountains in June last year.


Middle East envoy returns to region

JERUSALEM | U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell returned to the region on Tuesday for the first time since indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were launched on May 9, officials said.

Mr. Mitchell was to meet Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at his Tel Aviv home on Tuesday evening, Mr. Barak’s office said. On Wednesday, he is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met his forum of seven senior ministers to prepare for the visit of the envoy, Israeli officials said. Mr. Netanyahu was to meet Mr. Mitchell in Jerusalem on Thursday.


Court to rule on citizenship

CAIRO | A court in Egypt is to rule next month on whether Egyptian men married to Israeli women are to be stripped of their citizenship, a judicial source told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

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