Developing

Two Egyptians kidnapped in Yemen: local official

Armed tribesmen have kidnapped two Egyptian technicians working at a cement factory in southern Yemen, a local official said on Tuesday.

"The two men were intercepted as they left the cement plant in Abyan on Monday night and were taken off to a mountainous region," the official told AFP, asking not to be named.

He said the kidnappers belonged to the Marakisha tribe and were demanding the release of a member of their tribe jailed seven years ago on murder charges.

A tribal delegation is trying to negotiate the release of the two Egyptians, the source said.

Hundreds of people have been abducted in Yemen over the past 15 years, almost all of who have been freed unharmed.

Most kidnappings of foreigners are carried out by members of Yemen's powerful tribes who use them as bargaining chips in disputes with the central government.