Seven out of nine foreigners taken hostage were found dead in northern Yemen today, security officials said. "We have found the corpses of seven people who were kidnapped," a local security official said. "They were killed." Two of the three children captured with the group were reportedly found alive. The bodies were found by the son of a tribal leader in Noshour, east of the volatile Saada mountainous area of northern Yemen where the nine were abducted, the official said. The authorities had accused Shiite Zaidi rebels in Saada of seizing seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean woman teacher. The rebels denied the charge. The nine - among them three German children and two women nurses - belong to an international relief group that has been working at a hospital in Saada province bordering Saudi Arabia for 35 years, a local official said on Sunday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping, the latest in a string of abductions of foreigners in one of the poorest countries in the world. Seoul confirmed that a South Korean, identified by her family name Eom, 34, had been missing since Thursday evening in Yemen when she joined members of the relief group for a walk. Local sources said the group was a Christian Baptist organisation that also has a medical team in the hospital at Jebla, south of Sanaa, where an Islamist militant killed three American doctors in December 2002. In Berlin, a foreign ministry spokesman had declined to confirm that Germans had been seized, saying only that the German embassy in Sanaa was in "close contact" with the Yemeni authorities.