SAN'A, Yemen -- Yemeni kidnappers freed two Austrian tourists yesterday, three days after seizing them in an apparent dispute over the government's arrest of fellow tribesmen.
The man and woman were released in good health and immediately ''resumed their tour of the historic and touristic sites" in northern Yemen, the official Saba news agency said, quoting an Interior Ministry official.
But tribal leaders in Marib Province, where the hostages were kidnapped Wednesday, said they were traveling back to the Yemeni capital, San'a, escorted by the provincial security chief and an Austrian diplomat.
In Vienna, Austrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Astrid Harz confirmed the release, the Austria Press Agency reported. The agency identified the pair as architects Barbara Meisterhofer, 31, and Peter Schurz, 52.
The two were kidnapped while visiting a site known as the Queen of Sheba's throne in Marib. Yemeni government officials said tribal gunmen grabbed the pair.
The tribal leaders, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said the kidnappers released the Austrians after gaining assurances the government would look into their complaints about the detention of two tribesmen.
On Wednesday, it was reported the kidnappers were trying to secure the release of two arrested members of a tribe in Abeda.
There was no comment from the government on the release.