Sunday, 30 May 2010

Yemen hunts 60 suspected of kidnapping foreigners

ٍSource : AFP 30/05/2010

SANAA — Yemen is hunting 60 suspects allegedly involved in kidnapping foreigners, the interior ministry said on Saturday, just days after two American tourists were snatched and then released by armed tribesmen.

The suspects, some of whom are wanted for abductions that took place more than 10 years ago, are on a wanted list that includes 65 others suspected of kidnapping Yemenis, a source at the ministry told AFP.

Another 140 suspects have been arrested, most of whom have already been tried, the ministry said in a statement.

Yemen's security forces have been engaged since mid-2008 in a "relentless war against abductions and those responsible for them... the kidnappers being as dangerous as terrorists," the ministry added.

The latest kidnapping took place on May 24, when two Americans and their driver were seized near a popular tourist attraction around 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Sanaa, with the kidnappers hoping to exchange them for a jailed fellow tribesman.

They were released the following day, though it was not clear whether this was a result of any deal.

Yemen's powerful tribes often kidnap foreigners for use as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government. Of about 200 foreigners seized in Yemen over the past decade, almost all have been released unharmed

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