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Iranian diplomat kidnapped by gunmen in Yemen

Sana'a, July 22 (IANS) An Iranian diplomat has been kidnapped by unidentified militants in the Yemeni capital Sana'a, an Iranian embassy official said.

"Ahmed Nour Ahmed, the cultural counsellor at the Iranian embassy was snatched early Sunday by gunmen from Hadda area in downtown Sana'a," the official told Xinhua.

He said the diplomat was taken to an unknown destination, and there was no contact with him.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen in the past by the Al Qaeda or tribesmen who asked for ransom or for the exchange for their jailed mates. Most of the kidnapped have been freed unharmed.

Last month, a Dutch couple and two South Africans were kidnapped in Sana'a and the central province of Taiz.