5 Italian hostages released unharmed in Yemen

Five Italian hostages, who were kidnapped by armed tribesmen in eastern Yemen earlier this week, were released unharmed on Friday, government sources said. The sources said that negotiations with the abductors were successful which resulted in the release of the five Italians safe and sound Armed tribesmen kidnapped the five Italian tourists, three women and two men, in the Maarib province, about 170 km east of the capital Sanaa, on Jan. 1, demanding the release of eight tribal members imprisoned on criminal charges by the Yemeni government.

Kidnapping of foreign tourists is frequent in the tiny country where armed tribesmen often demand for release of fellow members. The hostages were usually set free unhurt after negotiation between authorities and kidnappers. Late last month, five German tourists, including a former senior diplomat, were released after three days in captivity, reports Xinhua. I.L.

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