A Yemeni found guilty of kidnapping foreign tourists has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the official SABA news agency reported Sunday.
Faisal Hammud al-Shayef was sentenced by a court of first instance in Sanaa for the abduction of western tourists, the agency said.
More than 200 foreigners, mostly Western nationals, have been abducted by Yemen's unruly tribes since the early 1990s. They are used as bargaining chips in disputes with the Sanaa government or foreign oil companies.
Almost all hostage-takings have been resolved without bloodshed and the kidnap victims are generally well treated.
Penalties for kidnappings were stiffened in 1998, with perpetrators now risking the death penalty, especially if their victims are killed or injured.
The head of an Islamist group, Zine el-Abidin al-Mehdar, was executed in October 1999 for the seizure of 16 western tourists in December 1998, four of whom were killed in a shoot-out with police - SANAA (AFP)
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