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Tribesmen Kidnap Two Columbian Engineers in Shabwa
  Written By: Moneer Al-Omari ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
September 22, 2008



Armed tribesmen kidnapped two Colombian engineers along with their driver and a security guard in Shabwa, some 458 km to the southeast of Sana'a, the capital, as they were heading to the Balhaf Project site.

An informed source told the Yemen Post that the kidnapped engineers and their Yemeni companions were kidnapped after a group of tribesmen belonging to Bazakam tribe had laid an ambush for them early Friday morning.

The same source further revealed that the kidnapped engineers belong to Amec Spie Hawk International, working in Water, Sewer, Pipeline, and Communications and Power Line Construction.

The company is the main contractor in constructing the pipeline of the Yemen LNG Project stretching from gas fields to exporting ports on the Arab Sea, through laying a 38" diameter, 320 km-long pipeline from Marib's Safer to Shabwa's Balhalf.

Security forces launched an armed campaign to locate the whereabouts of the kidnapped foreigners, especially in areas where they were kidnapped, according to an official source who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

The source continued that the province has seen different kidnapping attempts and tribal kidnappers always seek money ransom or demand employment for some of their relatives, especially when the feel they have the right to share the oil and gas wealth of their province.

However, security officials told media sources that the kidnappers demanded authorities to release some of their relatives who are jailed over criminal acts including highway robbery and kidnappings.

The province has seen different kidnapping cases; however, most kidnapped foreigners were released unharmed after negotiations that sometimes takes only hours.

Tribes resort to kidnapping to attract the government's attention to their areas, to seek ransom money and to force concessions on the government's part.

Abyan’s security committee held last Friday evening a meeting chaired over by the governor Ahmed Al-Maysari, as the committee approved having a military campaign to besiege the kidnappers and force them to release the kidnapped engineers.