Kidnapped French woman had been due to leave Yemen 'within days'


Isabelle Prime, 30, who worked for Ayala Consulting on a World Bank-funded project, was the only member of firm's staff left in Yemen.

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A French development worker who was kidnapped in the Yemeni capital Sanaa had been due to leave the restive country in just a matter of days, her employer said Tuesday, reports Yahoo! News.

Isabelle Prime, 30, worked for Ayala Consulting on a project funded by the World Bank to advise the Yemeni government's social welfare program.

"Some (expatriate) staff had already left. Isabelle was the only one," said Francisco Ayala, president of the consulting firm based in Miami and Ecuador.

"She was about to leave in the next few days," he told AFP in a telephone interview.

Prime, a Yemeni colleague and their driver were riding down the main street in Sanaa en route to work when their car was stopped by men dressed as police officers, Ayala said.

"It seemed they moved around the city and eventually the driver was released after a few hours," he said.

"He was the one who gave us the alert and provided the information to the authorities."

The kidnappers wanted to free Prime's local female colleague as well, but it is understood she refused to leave Prime alone with her captors, Ayala said.

"There has been some contact" with the kidnappers, said Ayala, who had no details as the Yemeni interior ministry continues to deal with the case.

Read more of this AFP report published by Yahoo! News.

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