UPDATE 2-Three Chinese oil workers abducted in Yemen

* Incident related to militants’ dispute with govt-official

* Negotiations held to free the Chinese workers

(Adds background, company name, paragraphs 4-5)

SANAA, May 16 (BestGrowthStock) – Separatist Yemeni militants
kidnapped three Chinese oil company workers on Sunday in an
apparent move to pressure authorities in a local criminal
dispute, an official in the eastern province of Shabwa said.

“Negotiations are going on to try to have them released,”
the official told Reuters.

The men worked for a unit of the U.S. firm Nabors Industries
Ltd (NBR.N: ) in Shabwa, another official said.

Company officials could not be immediately contacted.

Disgruntled tribesmen have often abducted foreigners in the
impoverished Arabian Peninsula country to press for demands from
authorities.

Most of those abducted have been released unharmed, but in
2000 a Norwegian diplomat was killed in crossfire and in 1998
four Westerners were killed during a botched army attempt to
free them from Islamist militants who had seized 16 tourists.

Yemen has faced increasing unrest by militants seeking the
re-establishment of southern Yemen as an independent state.

North and south Yemen united in 1990. But many in the south,
where most of the Arab country’s oil facilities are, complain
northerners take their resources and deny them political rights.

The government, struggling to stabilise a fractious country
in which central authority is often weak, faces international
pressure to quell domestic conflicts in order to focus on
fighting a resurgent al Qaeda.
(Reporting by Mohamed Sudam; Writing by Firouz Sedarat; Editing
by Elizabeth Fullerton)

UPDATE 2-Three Chinese oil workers abducted in Yemen