Abducted Australian appeals to government in Yemen hostage video

Abducted Australian appeals to government in Yemen hostage video
Australian football coach Craig Bruce McAllister has appeared in a video on Friday, after being abducted by an unnamed group in war-torn Yemen.
2 min read
21 October, 2016
The armed group has requested Australia pay a ransom for his release [Getty]
An Australian national who was kidnapped in Yemen earlier this week has appeared in a hostage video which demands a ransom for his release.

Craig Bruce McAllister, who has lived in Yemen for the past six years while training a youth football team in the capital, said he had been kidnapped by an unidentified group in a 24-second video which surfaced online.

"I have been working as a football coach... At the moment I am kidnapped by a group here," he says.

"They are requesting that the Australian government send the money they have requested."

On Wednesday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the government was aware of the situation and was providing support to his family.

"We do understand that an Australian who has been in Yemen for some time has been kidnapped, but we don't know the details," she told Sky News.

The Australian government has on previous occasions confirmed it does not pay ransoms in abduction cases, although no official statement has been released since the video was published.

No group has yet publically claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, however similar cases are a frequent occurrence in war-torn Yemen.

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the release of two unidentified US citizens that had been abducted by Houthi rebels in the country.

"Their names are not being released at this point in time, but we're very pleased with that, obviously, and we're continuing to work on other hostage situations there and elsewhere," he told reporters.

Conflict has raged across Yemen since Houthi rebels overran swathes of territory, including the capital Sanaa in September 2014.

The move led to a Saudi-led coalition intervening militarily in the country, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths - most of which are civilians - according to latest UN figures.