Authorities in Yemen say they know where five German hostages are being held, six months after their capture in the country.
Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle was given the update in person by the Yemeni president while on a surprise visit to the capital, Sanaa.
The five Germans, three of whom are children, were kidnapped along with a British citizen in June. Two more Germans and a South Korean taken with them were killed by their captors.
Westerwelle was also in Yemen to pledge European support in the government’s military effort against al-Qaeda. Germany is the largest European provider of aid to the Gulf state.
He was also said to be pressing for better governance and for more to be done to tackle corruption.
The west is concerned that political instability in Yemen could allow the country to become a base for al-Qaeda. The group’s Yemeni branch claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.