Local News

Norwegian UN Worker Kidnapped in Yemen

National Yemen

Yemeni soldiers on a military automobile

National Yemen

SANAA, Yemen — A Norwegian man who was working for the United Nations was kidnapped by armed tribesmen in Yemen’s capital Sanaa 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 U.N. worker was kidnapped in the capital Sanaa by armed tribesmen who transferred him to central Marib province, 110 miles (170 kilometers) east of the capital.

The official said the U.N. 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 U.N. worker was in good health and that his captors were in contact with the U.N. office in Yemen.

Also Sunday, a Yemeni military official said al-Qaida militants executed two soldiers who had been abducted two months ago while fighting al-Qaida 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-Qaida’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.