Italian guard in Yemen abducted

July 30, 2012 at 7:36 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, July 30 (UPI) -- Yemen security forces said a guard kidnapped at the Italian Embassy was most likely abducted by a tribal group looking for leverage, not by al-Qaida members.

Armed men grabbed the guard, whose name has not been reported, Sunday in southwest Sanaa while he was in civilian clothes and running a personal errand, The New York Times reported.

Unidentified security sources and Arhab al-Sahri, the president of the Italian-Yemeni association, told ANSA while the abductors have not been identified, they do not believe al-Qaida is behind the incident.

Al-Sahri said the abduction is similar to one in 2005 of five Italian tourists seized by local tribal members.

"It is certainly not a kidnapping by al-Qaida," he said, "but probably by tribal groups using hostages to ask the government for something in exchange."

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