Scores of holidaymakers and foreigners working in Yemen have been kidnapped over the past decade by tribesmen demanding better schools, roads and services, or the release of prisoners.
Most taken hostage are released unharmed.
Last year, a Yemeni tribe abducted two foreign engineers and their Yemeni driver after a dispute between a local contractor and the hostages' employer.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, says he will act forcefully against those who abduct foreigners which, along with attacks by al Qaeda, have been hindering the state's efforts to boost tourism.