| GEO World|
| Tribal gunmen kidnap 2 American tourists in Yemen|
| Updated at: 1704 PST, Monday, May 24, 2010|
SAN'A: Yemeni officials say tribal gunmen have kidnapped two American tourists and are demanding the release of a jailed tribesman for the pair.
The U.S. Embassy in San'a says it doesn't have any information about the kidnapping.
Security officials, a taxi driver and tribesmen say the two, a man and a woman, were seized Monday as they were traveling west of the capital in al-Hudaydah province.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak to the media.
Taxi driver Mohammed Saleh, who was driving the two, says six gunmen stopped them on the road and took them to al-Hamra village. Al-Sharda tribesmen say the hostages are ``guests'' in their village.
Kidnappings are endemic in Yemen and are usually carried out by disgruntled tribesmen hoping to win concessions from the government.
In the past few years, however, al-Qaida has begun kidnapping foreigners as well, often with lethal results.
The kidnappings often take place outside the heavily guarded Yemeni capital, San'a, underlining the fragility of security in rural areas.