British Al Qaeda hostage freed by UAE forces

British hostage held by Al Qaeda freed by UAE troops in Yemen more than a year after his abduction

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

British oil engineer Robert Douglas Semple was rescued by UAE forces and taken to Abu Dhabi after he was abducted from Al Qaeda while he was working in Yemen in February 2014.

The 64-year-old was abducted 18 months ago and was kept by Al Qaeda in the city of Aden.

According to the UAE-based WAM news agency, Douglas contacted his wife and will return to his country immediately after his preventative hospitalisation is over.

"The British national is safe and well, and is receiving support from British government officials," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said. "We are very grateful for the assistance of the UAE," he added letting the public know that a hostage was freed.

As WAM confirmed the news, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, personally contacted UK Prime Minister David Cameron to inform him about the positive development of the operation on Saturday night.

Semple is not the only hostage to have been rescued. Isabelle Prime, who was also working in the area, was abducted in February in Yemen's capital city Sanaa and was freed together with her Yemeni translator early in August.

TRTWorld and agencies