SA to verify identity of kidnapped tourists

2013-05-28 10:08

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Pretoria - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it has yet to determine if the two tourists kidnapped in Yemen are South Africans.

The department said officials in South Africa’s mission in Saudi Arabia, which is accredited to Yemen, are following up on reports that a man and a woman were seized while  outside a hotel in Yemen's central province of Taiz. Police said a lawmaker was behind the kidnapping to pressure the government to hand over a disputed piece of land.

The department cannot confirm whether or not they are South Africans.

"It is very difficult to get information from that part of the world, but our people are working very hard to find out," spokesperson Clayson Monyela told AFP.

"We should have a clearer picture by midday."

Reports from the ground indicate that the area of Howban has been cordoned off, as police have been searching for the abducted couple.

Foreigners are frequently kidnapped in Yemen by al-Qaida militants or tribesmen, who ask for ransoms for the release of their jailed fellows.

Most of the kidnapped have been freed unharmed.

Read more on:    yemen  |  travel international  |  abductions

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