Dubai: Oman has a track record of getting hostages released from Yemen. Oman had effectively mediated to secure the release of an unnamed Australian citizen from Yemen in May, four months before hosting Fr Tom Uzhunnalil in the Sultan’s palace.
Neither the Oman government nor the Australian government revealed the hostage’s name because he could be targeted again. Moreover, his family did not want to be in the spotlight. Unconfirmed reports said he was a football coach.
Oman said that the hostage was released after talks held through tribal groups.
At least 12 foreigners, including Westerners, have been abducted since the rebel Houthis laid siege of Yemeni capital Sanaa in September 2014.
The tribesmen initially kidnapped foreigners for ransom. These abductions were easier to solve, compared to the later wave of kidnappings orchestrated by Al Qaida affiliates in Yemen.
U.S. Commandos had tried to rescue journalist Luke Somers and a South African teacher but both hostages were killed.