An American oil worker has reportedly been kidnapped in Yemen. The wife of 63-year-old Danny Burch, an employee of Yemeni-owned oil company Safer, says five armed men driving a pickup truck without license plates took him from his car on a busy street in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Saturday, per the New York Times. The kidnapping took place "in broad daylight in front of everyone," says Nadia Forsa, who later found her husband's car parked on the side of the road. A Yemeni security official and two of Burch's colleagues confirmed the account. The US State Department says it is aware of the report, per the AP.
No group has claimed responsibility, but Reuters reports two of Burch's colleagues blamed the Houthi rebels who occupy Sanaa. The Times notes the Houthis are known to abduct foreigners for ransom or because they believe them to be spies. Burch was born in Louisiana and spent years working on oil rigs in Texas before taking a job in Yemen in 1994. He moved there permanently in 2005 when he fell in love with Forsa, a Yemeni woman, his brother tells the Longview News-Journal. The pair went on to have three children, aged 7, 9, and 12. Burch also has three children from a previous marriage. (Read more Yemen stories.)