AFP reported on Thursday that the five Germans, including three children, and a British national who have been held by kidnappers in Yemen for the past six months are still alive, a top official said on Thursday. According to the report:
"The three possible places they could be in are [the provinces of] Maarib, Al-Jouf and Saada. Available information confirm that there is coordination between the [northern Shi'ite rebels] Huthis and the Al Qaeda in this matter.
"It is believed that the three children, who were shown in a recent video, are alive in Maarib, while the elders are being used by the Huthis [to provide] medical treatment."
German officials who requested anonymity had confirmed a report in the daily Bild saying the images, apparently recorded recently by the abductors, indicated at least that the three children aged one, three and five were still alive.
The German government now has a copy of the video, Bild said in December.
"The children seemed exhausted," a high-ranking German official was quoted by the newspaper as saying, as the German government declined to comment.
The family of five and the Briton were abducted in northern Yemen along with two German Bible students and a South Korean who were shot dead soon after.
The Yemeni government had repeatedly accused the Huthi rebels of being behind the kidnapping, a charge they denied, charging that the government was behind their disappearance to use it as an excuse to attack them.
Since August, the army has been engaged in an all-out offensive against the Zaidi Shi'ite rebels in the Saada northern province and its surrounding, in a bid to end their five year rebellion.
Pray that these reports are true. Pray for the hostages during this time. Show your solidarity with them by posting a prayer request on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall for them and their family.