2 foreigners kidnapped outside hotel in Taiz, Yemen's second largest city

Security officials say gunmen have abducted two foreigners outside their hotel in Taiz, Yemen's second largest city.

Police say the two were taken at gunpoint by unknown assailants outside the Taiz Plaza hotel on Monday.

The officials spoke anonymously in line with regulations. Neither police nor the hotel's management would comment on the nationality of the two foreigners.

It's the first abduction of foreigners in Taiz, on the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen's president has warned that the al-Qaida branch in the country is expanding and using assassinations and abductions of foreigners as a way to challenge the central authority.

The group claimed responsibility in March 2012 for killing an American teacher in Taiz, saying in a post on militant websites that he was proselytizing for Christianity.