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French national is abducted in Yemen

France, Britain and the United States are among the countries who have closed their embassies and have urged their citizens to leave Yemen
The French national, her Yemeni colleague and their driver were abducted in Yemen's capital, Sanaa on Tuesday (AA)

A French woman working with a non-governmental organisation in Yemen was kidnapped in Sanaa on Tuesday.

The woman, identified as 30-year-old Isabelle Prime, working on a development project funded by the World Bank, was abducted in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Tuesday, along with a Yemeni colleague and their driver.

Prime worked for Ayala Consulting, and was assisting the Yemeni government on social welfare programs in the turmoil-stricken nation.

Yemen has suffered from unrest since 2012, when Ali Abdullah Saleh was removed from power after serving 33 years.

While in Sanaa, Prime, her driver and colleague were stopped by men dressed in police uniforms. When stopped, the three were abducted by the men.

Taken to an undisclosed location, the three were interrogated for several hours and then the driver was released.

The group’s captors also offered to release Prime’s Yemeni colleague, according to AFP, but she refused to leave Prime alone with the kidnappers.

After being released, it was the driver who contacted Yemeni authorities to report the kidnapping.

French president, Francois Hollande called for Prime to be released "as soon as possible", while urging all French nationals to leave Yemen as quickly as they could as the situation spirals out of control.

"We unfortunately confirm the kidnapping this morning in Sanaa of a French citizen," read a statement from the French Foreign Ministry, urging "all our compatriots to leave the country as fast as possible".

France is one of several countries, including Britain and the United States, who have recently closed their embassies and urged their citizens to leave Yemen as tensions rise and as the threat of IS swells.

The French Foreign Ministry announced that it made contact with Prime’s family and was doing everything possible to “locate and insure her release".

The World Bank expressed deep concern regarding the fate of those kidnapped, according to AFP.

The security situation in the country sharply deteriorated after President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi resigned in January following a takeover by the Houthis, a Shiite militia group.

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