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Three Dutch Aid Workers Kidnapped in Yemen

March 28, 1994

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) _ Tribesmen kidnapped three Dutch aid workers who were on a private outing, diplomats revealed Monday.

The three Dutchmen were taken Friday by a group led by Sheik Mubarak Saleh of the Khowlan tribe, the same group that seized U.S. Information Service chief Haynes Mahoney and held him for six days in November.

Disgruntled tribes have kidnapped about 200 foreign workers and tourists the past two years to pressure Yemen’s government over various demands. All hostages have been released unharmed, usually after mediation by tribal leaders.

The Dutchmen, seized about 30 miles east of San’a, the capital, were working for the Dutch government-financed scientific organization TNO to help with a water project for the impoverished nation on the Red Sea.

G.A. Kappert, first secretary at the Dutch Embassy, declined to give any more information.

In the Netherlands, the three men were identified by TNO as Jac van der Gun, 47, Gerard Jeurissen, 57, and Wilbert Elderhorst, 39.

Western diplomats said, who spoke on condition they not be identified, said they had information the Dutchmen were in good condition but did not know what the tribesmen’s demands were.

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