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Saudi diplomat kidnapped in Yemen makes new video plea

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A Saudi diplomat kidnapped in Yemen by Al-Qaeda has urged his relatives to stage protests to push Riyadh to answer the demands of his abductors, in a new video posted online.

Abdullah al-Khalidi, Saudi's deputy consul in the southern port city of Aden who was kidnapped nearly 17 months ago, appears in the video wearing a traditional white thawb cloak and sporting a long beard.

The video, which was posted online late on Sunday, was released by Al-Qaeda's Al-Malahem Media and is dated back to August.

Khalidi last appeared in a similar video message in April.

He urged his tribe to protest to push the Saudi government to answer the kidnappers demands for the release of female Islamist prisoners and clerics held in the kingdom.

Militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula seized Khalidi on March 28 last year seeking the release of female prisoners and to collect a ransom.

AQAP claimed responsibility for Khalidi's abduction in April.

Although weakened, Al-Qaeda is still present in Yemen's restive south and east, and launches sporadic attacks against security forces.

Saudi Arabia itself witnessed a wave of deadly attacks by Al-Qaeda between 2003 and 2006, which prompted authorities to launch a crackdown on the local branch of the jihadist network.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen in the past 15 years, almost all of them later freed unharmed.

jj-ak/bpz

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130909/saudi-diplomat-kidnapped-yemen-makes-new-video-plea