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Middle east

Two Europeans kidnapped, tribal sources say

Latest update : 2009-03-31

At least two Europeans have been kidnapped by armed tribesmen in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, according to tribal and security sources. The abductors are reportedly demanding the release of two of their relatives arrested by the authorities.

AFP - Two Europeans, a man and a woman, were kidnapped by armed tribesmen in a suburb of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday, tribal sources and an official said.
The pair, whose nationality was not immediately identified, were taken to Bani Dhibyan, in ragged terrain 90 kilometres (55 miles) southeast of Sanaa that is difficult to access, the official said.
The abductors are demanding the release of two of their relatives arrested by the authorities, the official added.
Foreigners are frequently seized by Yemen's powerful tribes for use as bargaining chips in disputes with the government. More than 200 have been abducted over the past 15 years.
In late January, a German contractor working for gas firm Yemen LNG was taken hostage and released just days later.
A month earlier, a German woman and her parents kidnapped by tribesmen were freed after a five-day hostage ordeal in remote mountains near the Yemeni capital.
In all the documented cases, the hostages have been freed unharmed, save for three Britons and an Australian seized by Islamist militants in December 1998 who were killed when security forces stormed the kidnappers' hideout.

Date created : 2009-03-31