On Saturday, a German national, who was studying Arabic in Sanaa, was kidnapped by armed tribesman. A Yemeni Interior Ministry official told CNN, "He was on his way home in the Safia districts of the capital when he was snatched from the street and most likely taken to the central province of Mareb." Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said that "Efforts are ongoing to ensure the safe release of the German national."
On Monday, an unidentified British oil worker was abducted at gunpoint by unknown assailants. He was removed from his car in Sanaa's upscale Hadda district by four armed men who forced him into another vehicle.
The British government has a standing travel warning for Yemen that warns, "There is a very high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists."
Yemen has been plagued by violence for years. A recently concluded National Dialogue Conference has been hailed by President Barack Obama as "a major milestone in Yemen's political transition," with Obama promising to help strengthen Yemen's security services' capacity to combat al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.