Middle East

Yemen kidnap: Gunmen seize Italian embassy worker in Sanaa

map

A security agent working for the Italian embassy in Yemen's capital Sanaa has been kidnapped by gunmen, officials said.

The Italian man was taken to an unknown destination from a street near Italy's embassy in south-west Sanaa, security and diplomatic sources have said.

Police have said they are trying to track down and identify the gunmen.

The Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome confirmed the kidnapping to the AP news agency.

Kidnappings of foreigners are common in Yemen and are usually resolved peacefully.

The majority of kidnappings are carried out by gunmen who use captives to make bargains with the Yemeni government.

Officials tend to blame tribesmen or gunmen linked to al-Qaeda for taking foreigners.

A French official working for the Red Cross was released earlier this month after being kidnapped in April.

A Swiss woman who was working as a teacher and seized by al-Qaeda militants in March remains a hostage.