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Iranian Diplomat Kidnapped In Yemen Freed

Iran’s state media are reporting that an Iranian diplomat held hostage in Yemen since 2013 has returned home following an intelligence operation.

IRNA news agency reported that Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht arrived at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on March 5.

Nikbakht was abducted by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in July 2013.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying that special operatives carried out a "difficult and complicated operation" to secure Nikbakht's freedom from the "hands of terrorists."

Yemen has been gripped by unrest since longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in early 2012 following a popular uprising.

The country has plunged deeper into turmoil since the Shi’ite Huthi militia overran Sanaa in September.

Tehran denies accusations it is supporting the rebels.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP