Italian embassy guard kidnapped in Yemen

July 29, 2012 - 12:38 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — An interior ministry official in Yemen says gunmen have kidnapped an Italian embassy guard as he walked on the street near the mission's building in the capital Sanaa.

He said the kidnapping took place Sunday, but he had no other details.

In Rome, the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping and said officials were working to secure the guard's release.

The Yemeni official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Kidnaping foreigners is not uncommon in Yemen, an impoverished Arab nation. Almost all of the kidnappings are carried out by tribesmen who use the captives as bargaining chips to force authorities to provide their areas with services and jobs. They mostly end with the release of the hostages unharmed.