Source: 3 European hostages released in Yemen

An Austrian student (R) and a Finnish couple abducted in Yemen by Al-Qaeda militants talk to local media on Thursday in Oman.

Story highlights

  • 3 people kidnapped in Yemen in December are freed
  • They were believed to have been kidnapped by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
  • Two of the freed captives are Finnish, and one Austrian

Two Finns and one Austrian believed to have been kidnapped by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula last December in Yemen have been released, the Finnish government said.

The three had been abducted in Sanaa, Yemen, in December, the Finnish foreign ministry said.

The Finns, identified as Leila and Atte Kaleva, and the Austrian, Dominik Neubauer, were freed and were safe in Austria.

"In view of the circumstances, they are in good condition," the foreign ministry said. "The long deprivation of liberty, however, is a traumatic experience both for those abducted and for their loved ones."

The governments of Finland and Austria worked together to achieve the captives' release.

Details of the kidnappings were "murky, but it looks like they were kidnapped by AQAP militants under the protection of tribes," a Middle Eastern diplomat told CNN. The diplomat spoke of condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.