March 31, 2011
A Yemeni court on Wednesday sentenced five Yemenis convicted of kidnapping four Czech tourists in January to imprisonment ranging from 12 to 15 years, state-run Saba news agency reported.
The Sanaa-based court handed down 12 years in prison against Ali al-Ghadri, Ahmed al-Walidi and Abdulsalam al-Mafa.
It also sentenced in absentia Mohamed Ali al-Khakidi and Mohamed Saleh al-Khalidi to 15 years in jail.
The defendants carried out the kidnap in January in a village west of Sana'a while the four tourists of Czech Republic were touring the area.
The security forces escorting the tourist group managed to free the four tourists unharmed and thwarted the kidnap attempt after clashing with the kidnappers who were later captured, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry.
In Yemen, kidnapping foreigners is a common phenomenon as tribesmen in the lawless areas often resort to such act to force the government to meet their demands.