SAN`A, Yemen (AP) – Tribesmen kidnapped a German aid worker and her parents in southern Yemen early Monday and are holding them hostage, demanding the government release imprisoned clan members, Yemeni officials said.
The aid worker, who is based in Yemen, and her visiting mother and father were snatched by Bani Thabyan tribesmen in Dhamar province, 100 kilometers (65 miles) south of the capital, San`a, a Yemeni security official said.
A clan leader from a different tribe in the same area said the Bani Thabyan were demanding the release of a number of fellow tribesmen imprisoned by the government.
In Berlin, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said the three Germans were missing, and “we must assume based on current information that the three were kidnapped.” He said Berlin was “working to clarify the situation,” but would give no further details.
The German and Yemeni officials did not identify the captives. The Yemeni security official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the incident. The clan leader asked not to be identified, fearing the government would accuse him of being linked to the abduction.
Tribesmen in Yemen frequently take foreign tourists hostage to pressure the government on a range of demands, from freeing jailed clan members to improving roads, hospitals and schools in their area. In the majority of cases, the hostages are freed unharmed.