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Iran: Diplomat Kidnapped in Yemen Returns Home

An Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen in July 2013 has been released and returned home, state media said Thursday.

Noor Ahmad Nikbakht was working at the Iranian embassy in Sana'a when suspected al-Qaida militants abducted him.

Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said a special intelligence ministry task force freed Nikbakht from the militants with a "complicated, tough operation in a very perilous part of Yemen," according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

IRNA also quoted Nikbakht as thanking those who worked for his release.

Iranian officials have been targeted by militants several times in recent years in Yemen, which is home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

In December, AQAP claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at the Iranian ambassador's house in Yemen. The ambassador was not there at the time. In January of last year, diplomat Ali Asghar Assad was killed in what was believed to be a botched kidnapping attempt outside the ambassador's residence.