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A tourist couple from the United States have been kidnapped by Yemen tribesmen, who are demanding the release of an imprisoned relative. Kidnapping of foreigners is common in Yemen, a country that borders Saudi Arabia. Here’s that report.
Armed tribesmen kidnapped two U.S. tourists, a husband and wife, near the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday.
The tribesmen are demanding the release of a jailed relative.
The couple's Yemeni driver and a translator were also taken hostage.
Authorities have made contact with the kidnappers and a team of negotiators was headed to the mountainous area where the Americans were being held according to a government official.
Kidnappings of foreigners and Yemenis are common in the impoverished Arabian peninsula country. Hostages are often used by disgruntled tribesmen to press demands on authorities.
The U.S. couple was seized in al-Haima, an impoverished coffee and qat growing region that was considered fairly safe.
The area is near the main road from Sanaa to Hudaida on the Red Sea coast. It’s a common overnight destination for tourists who visit archaeological sites near the coast or the Haraz mountains, home to an Ismaili pilgrimage site.
Tourists traveling between Sanaa and Hudaida are required to inform police of their trip but do not typically need a security escort, as is necessary in some other areas of Yemen.