Sana’a: A Norwegian man who was working for the United Nations was kidnapped by armed tribesmen in Yemen`s capital Sana’a on Sunday, officials said.
Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ford Overland Andersen said the ministry was informed the 34-year-old Norwegian man was abducted early Sunday, but would not give more details.
According to a Yemeni security official, the UN worker was kidnapped in the capital Sana’a by armed tribesmen who transferred him to central Marib province, 110 miles (170 kilometres) east of the capital.
The official said the UN worker was taken hostage by the Obeyid Marib tribe. They were demanding the release of a tribesman who was arrested on charges of killing four soldiers assigned to guarding oil tankers.
Tribal leaders with close ties to the Obeyid Marib tribe said the UN worker was in good health and that his captors were in contact with the UN office in Yemen.
Also on Sunday, a Yemeni military official said al Qaeda militants executed two soldiers who had been abducted two months ago while fighting al Qaeda militants west of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan province.
The official said the bodies of the soldiers were found in the country`s south.
Al Qaeda`s dangerous Yemen branch has been taking advantage of nearly a year of internal turmoil over demands that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down to take control of areas in Yemen`s south.
For the past two days, around 200 al Qaeda militants have been occupying an 500-year-old mosque and school in the central province of Bayda.
On Friday, the militants overran the building, which has not been in use for years. The site was a tourist attraction in the town of Radda.