Two foreign engineers and their local driver have been kidnapped by a Yemeni tribe because of a dispute over a work contract, the official Saba news agency has reported.
Saba identified the engineers as Athram Nafour Kaftar, an Indian-born Canadian citizen and Osama Mohammed Aslab, a Syrian, and the driver as Yemeni national Amaar Abdul Karim.
The men were kidnapped on Friday in the southern province of Abyan because of a dispute over an agreement between their firm and a contractor who belongs to a local tribe, Saba reported on Saturday.
Local officials have received assurances the kidnapped men are alive and well, but a military unit has been put on alert in case the incident is not resolved peacefully, Saba added.
Foreigners are frequently seized by Yemen’s powerful tribes for use as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government. More than 200 have been abducted during the past 15 years in the impoverished Arabian peninsula republic.
All have been freed unharmed except for three Britons and an Australian seized in December 1998. They were killed when security forces stormed the kidnappers’ hideout.