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Iranian diplomat abducted in Yemen
July 21, 2013, 3:10 pm

Yemen has been rocked by violence and attacks on security forces in recent years [Xinhua]

Yemen has been rocked by violence and attacks on security forces in recent years [Xinhua]

Police in the Yemeni capital Sanaa confirmed on Sunday that an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped at gunpoint while walking in the southern districts of the capital.

“Ahmed Nour Ahmed, the cultural counselor at the Iranian embassy was snatched early Sunday by gunmen from Hadda area in downtown Sanaa,” a source from the embassy told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Abductions of foreigners spiked after the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh more than two years ago. Since then a growing separatist movement threatening to divide the country and an Islamist uprising has challenged the government’s legitimacy.

Tribes or disenfranchised armed groups often kidnap foreigners to pressure the government into concessions – to free jailed tribesmen, for example. Most of the kidnapped have been freed unharmed.

Last month, a Dutch journalist and her husband, and two South Africans were kidnapped in Sanaa and the central province of Taiz.

They have not yet been released.

A Finnish couple and one Austrian who were kidnapped by tribesmen on December 2012 were released to Omani authorities in late May 2013.

Source: Agencies

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