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Middle East

Frenchman held in Yemen released

media Alain Goma dropped anchor in Hodeida on 3 June 2018 in Yemen. Reuters/Abduljabbar Zeyad

A Frenchman held captive in war-torn Yemen for over four months after his boat ran into trouble near the port of Hodeida has been released, the French presidency announced on Tuesday.

Alain Goma dropped anchor in Hodeida on June 3 after running out of water while sailing to India.

Hodeida is under the control of Iranian-backed Huthi rebels, who took him prisoner.

It is not clear whether they made any demands of France in return for the release of Goma, who is in his fifties.

In a statement President Emmanuel Macron thanked authorities in Oman and Saudi Arabia for helping obtain his release.

He described Oman's role as "decisive" but said Saudi Arabia had also provided "assistance."

Goma's release comes as Saudi Arabia battles allegations that officials murdered a US-based Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi was critical of some of the policies of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

(with AFP)

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