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Yemen Kidnappers Seek $2 Million for Foreigners

Report in 'Der Spiegel' magazine comes 2 days after Yemen government said it had started negotiating with kidnappers for hostages' release

A German magazine reports that kidnappers in Yemen are demanding $2 million for the release of a German family and a British engineer.

The report in Der Spiegel magazine Thursday comes two days after Yemen's foreign minister, Abubakr al-Qirbi, announced the government had started negotiating with the kidnappers for the hostages' release.

The family of five and the engineer were kidnapped in the mountainous northern region of Saada in June. They were seized along with two German women and a South Korean woman, all of whom were later found dead.

Shi'ite Houthi rebels are fighting government troops in the region, but the group has denied taking part in the abductions.

The militants are loyal to Zaidi Shi'ite cleric Hussein al-Houthi, and they accuse the mostly Sunni country of marginalizing them.

Tribesmen in Yemen often take foreigners hostage to pressure the government on a range of demands.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.