The tribal leader of Bani Dubyan, Shaikh Said Nasir Lahjan, told a Yemeni media organisation on Tuesday that he had organised the seizure of Ahmad Salih al-Kumaim on 2 June.

Yemen's security forces confirmed the kidnapping on Friday, and said three tribesmen had already been arrested. However, police have not named people they suspect might be involved.

But publicising his hostage's exact location, Shaikh Lahjan alleged that Ahmad al-Kumaim had defrauded him of land in the capital.

Kidnapper's comment

"This man was using his money and contacts in the Ministry of the Interior to seize my holdings in the Shumaila quarter of Sanaa.

"Naturally, I am prepared to return this man to the capital and to hand myself and other members of the tribe to the authorities, on the understanding that they carry out an investigation into his property dealings," Lahjan said.

"This has been my last recourse to actually get some justice meted out"

Shaikh Lahjan,
tribal leader and kidnapper

The shaikh confirmed that al-Kumaim was in good health and was "enjoying the tribe's hospitality" and that they had even had a doctor give him a check-up as soon as he arrived.

"This has been my last recourse to actually get some justice meted out," he added, after accusing the Interior Ministry's Deputy Minister General Mutahhir Rashad al-Masri of corruption.

No official at the ministry was prepared to talk about the case, and al-Masri was unavailable for comment.

Local feeling

But Aljazeera's correspondent in Sanaa, Murad Hashim, said the local feeling in the capital was that there had been no need for Lahjan to go to such extremes.

Troops are said to be surrounding
the area of the kidnapping

"People I've spoken to say the way he is dealing with this problem is not helping his cause at all. They ask why he did not take the issue to the courts," Hashim said.

Last Sunday, Lahjan condemned Aljazeera's coverage of the situation, saying the channel had made him look like a terrorist, although he was "protecting his rights" and "was the one who had been wronged".

However, one Yemeni newspaper on Tuesday indicated that security forces may not attempt to force a release, but might request Shaikh Ahmad Salih Duwaid - the official responsible for tribal affairs in Yemen - and other tribal leaders to negotiate a solution.

Nevertheless, Aljazeera.net has learned that Interior Minister Rashad al-Ulaimi has already promised al-Kumaim's tribal leaders that the military had begun to encircle the region.