Yemeni tribesmen abduct French-Algerian man

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni tribesmen abducted a French-Algerian man on Tuesday to press for the release of jailed relatives, a provincial government source said.

The hostage works at a gas project in the eastern province of Shabwa, the source said without disclosing the man’s name.

“The tribesmen have two relatives jailed over a land dispute,” he said.

Scores of holidaymakers and foreigners working in Yemen have been kidnapped over the past decade by tribesmen demanding better schools, roads and services, or the release of prisoners.

Most hostages have been freed unharmed, but in 2000 a Norwegian diplomat was killed in crossfire and in 1998 four Westerners were killed during a botched army attempt to free them from Islamic militants who had seized 16 tourists.

An al Qaeda Yemeni wing called in July for kidnappings of tourists to press for the release of jailed militants. Dozens of al Qaeda members are serving jail terms in Yemen for attacks on Western and government targets.

Yemen, which joined the U.S.-led war on terror after the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities, is seen in the West as a haven for Islamist militants.

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