ADEN (Reuters) - Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped a Turkish bus driver in the southern province of Abyan on Wednesday to push the government to release a jailed kinsmen, a senior security official said.

The official said the Turkish man works for a tourism agency in the southern port city of Aden. He was heading from Aden to the southeastern city of Mukalla when he was stopped by the armed tribesmen, the official said.

Yemen is plagued by poverty and lawlessness, with Islamist militant attacks targeting government facilities and officials as part of a campaign against the state. On Tuesday, the defense minister survived a car bombing that killed 12 people.

Tribesmen also frequently kidnap foreigners visiting or working in the country as a way to press their demands on authorities. The hostages are usually freed unharmed.

(Reporting by Dhuyazen Mukhashaf; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Louise Ireland and Sami Aboudi)