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                                        Volume. 11915

Yemeni official says kidnapped Iranian diplomat still alive
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TEHRAN – An Iranian embassy official kidnapped in the Yemeni capital Sanaa in July is still alive, a Yemeni security official said on Sunday, disputing an earlier report that he had been found beheaded, according to Reuters.

Last month a provincial official said local people had found the body of the diplomat in an area north of oil fields in Maarib province.

On Sunday a Yemeni security official who declined to be named told Reuters, "Contacts with the Iranian diplomat's kidnappers through tribal mediators confirm that he (the diplomat) is still alive and that the body found did not belong to him," the security official told Reuters.

Iran's official IRNA news agency on Sunday quoted Yemen's charge d'affaires in Tehran, Abdullah al-Sari, as saying, "Yemen's interior ministry and security forces are following up on the fate of kidnapped Iranian diplomat, Noor Ahmad Nikbakht, and according to latest information he is alive and in good health.”

He added, "Our security forces are looking for ways to help and secure his release. We hope good news on this will be announced soon."

EP/PA
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