ADEN: Tribesmen on Monday kidnapped eight people, among them two Syrians and two Saudis, in southwestern Yemen in a bid to secure the release of two fellow tribesmen, a tribal chief told AFP.
"Tribesmen from the Subayha tribe intercepted several trucks on the coastal road between the provinces of Lahj and Aden, kidnapping two Syrians, two Saudis and four Yemenis, among them a colonel in the army," said Wahib al-Mansub.
"They were taken to an unknown destination," said the source.
The kidnappers are demanding that the authorities release several prisoners, including a leader in the Southern Movement, Bajash al-Aghbari, and a local official in the main southern city of Aden, Yaser al-Uzaibi, he added.
The security chief of Lahj province, Abdelhakim Shayif, confirmed that "armed tribesmen kidnapped Syrians and others," without providing further details.
"We have received assurances that the hostages are in good health and there are attempts to free them over the coming hours," he said.
Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, many of them by members of the country's powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips with the authorities.
Almost all of them have later been freed unharmed.
On Sunday, tribesmen freed a Turkish tourist bus driver kidnapped last month in the southern Abyan province following tribal mediation.