Troops in Yemen appear poised to carry out a raid to force the release of four French tourists kidnapped by armed tribesmen. An official said security forces had been dispatched, but stressed that negotiations to liberate the group were still on track. The four were snatched on Sunday as they travelled in the Ataq region. They are reportedly being held by the same clan that seized – then freed – five German tourists last year. The tribesmen are said to be pressing for relatives to be let out of jail.
Impoverished Yemen hopes to boost its trade as a holiday destination but scores of tourists and foreigners working there have been kidnapped over the last decade, most of whom were released unharmed. Attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants have also scared off many travellers.