Abdullah al-Sa'fani says the two - a man and a woman - were released Tuesday, a day after they were kidnapped along with their driver while traveling to al-Hudaydah province west of the Yemeni capital.
The U.S. Embassy said Yemeni security forces had surrounded the kidnappers and negotiated the release of the hostages. "The hostages have been relocated to the nation's capital and the situation was peacefully resolved," the embassy said in a statement.
In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said one of the two Americans had sent a text message to a person in the U.S. consulate in Dubai saying both had been released to a "mediator," and that they were safe. He said he did not know the circumstances of their release or their current whereabouts.
The three were abducted by members of the Sharda tribe who were demanding the release of a jailed tribesman. The pair, along with their driver, had been abducted by members of the Sharda tribe demanding the release of a jailed tribesman.
Al-Sa'fani is the district chief of the area where the two were kidnapped.
Kidnappings are endemic in Yemen and are usually carried out by disgruntled tribesmen hoping to win concessions from the government. In the past few years, however, al Qaeda has begun kidnapping foreigners as well, often with lethal results.
They often take place outside the heavily guarded capital, underlining the fragility of security in rural areas. It is this weak government authority outside San'a that's believed to have tempted al Qaeda militants to seek refuge in the impoverished Arab nation in the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, thus posing a threat to the interests of the West and 포항출장업소
its allies in a strategic part of the Middle East.
The United States and other Western powers have been increasing their support to Yemen's security forces to enable them to better deal with the al Qaeda threat. However, such efforts are often frustrated by the protection offered by tribal chiefs to the militants, the country's difficult mountainous terrain and the deep anti-Western sentiments shared by many Yemenis.
The kidnapping came a day after radical American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki
called for the killing of American civilians in a video released
by the al Qaeda branch in Yemen.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded on CBS's "Face the Nation," calling al-Awlaki a murderous thug.
"We are actively trying to find him and many others throughout the world that seek to do our country and to do our interests great harm," he said.