Unidentified gunmen in the southwestern Yemeni city of Taiz have abducted two South African citizens, Interior Ministry officials say.
According to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the armed men seized the two South African citizens, a man and a woman, on Monday near a hotel in the city.
The official also added that “police are trying to determine the identity of the kidnappers and where they have taken their captives. ”
Tribesmen or al-Qaeda militants frequently kidnap foreigners in Yemen in exchange for ransoms or for the release of jailed fellows. Most of the abductees are freed unscathed. Five people, two Egyptian engineers and three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), were abducted in the Province of Abyan on May 7 and 13 respectively and were released on May 16. The Red Cross abductees were nationals from Switzerland, Kenya and Yemen, and the Egyptians were working for a local cement factory in Abyan. On February 27, a Swiss woman was released after one year of captivity in the hands of the al-Qaeda wing in Yemen.