Middle East

Three Filipino sailors seized in Yemen

Yemen map

Three Filipino sailors have been kidnapped by tribal militants in central Yemen, according to the country's interior ministry.

The militants want the authorities to release a prisoner from the tribe in exchange, the official said.

The Filipinos were abducted as they were travelling to a port in Mahra.

Yemen's long-term President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in February after months of protests which took the country to the brink of civil war.

Yemen faces daunting challenges: widespread poverty and malnutrition, a secessionist movement in the south, rebellions across the country and a fight against al-Qaeda militants.

Last week a Swiss woman was kidnapped from a town on the west coast of Yemen.

More than 200 foreigners have been seized in the country over the past 15 years; most have been freed unharmed.

More on this story