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Two UN employees kidnapped in Yemen

The Western nationals work at the UN office in the Yemen capital of Sanaa.

FILE: Gunmen have kidnapped two Western nationals working at the United Nations office in the Yemen capital of Sanaa. Picture: Leanne de Bassompiere/EWN.

SANAA - Gunmen have kidnapped two Western nationals working at the United Nations office in Yemen's capital Sanaa, a local police source said on Tuesday, without giving more details.

Kidnapping is common in Yemen, where the government faces an insurgency from Islamists linked to al-Qaeda as well as sporadic conflicts with armed tribes.

Al-Qaeda militants took a South African couple, Pierre and Yolande Korkie, captive in Yemen in May last year.

Yolande was released in January with the help of relief group Gift of the Givers, but the kidnappers are demanding a $3 million ransom for her husband's release.

Negotiators are still trying to secure Korkie's release.