Toddler Hostages Rescued After 11 Months
Saudi forces free German siblings held by rebels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 4:17 AM CDT
Saudi soldiers occupy a position on Mt. Doud near the border with Yemen after a battle with Yemeni rebels.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia special forces have rescued two young German girls who were held by Yemeni rebels for almost a year. Anna and Lydia Hentschel, aged 3 and 5, are being treated in a Saudi hospital. The fate of their Christian missionary parents and baby brother, who were seized along with the girls and 4 other foreigners last year, is unknown, the Guardian reports.

No group ever claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but the Saudis, who say they acted after receiving a tip that the girls were being held near the border, believe it was the work of al-Qaeda-linked rebels in northern Yemen. The girls are expected to return to Germany today, where they will live with their grandparents. "Considering the circumstances, they are doing well," said Germany's foreign minister.