Tehran: Iranian police have freed a former fencing champion held hostage by bandits since the beginning of May and arrested several of his captors, said an intelligence ministry statement reported yesterday.
Hamed Sedaqati Pic courtesy: Facebook
Hamed Sedaqati, 29, was seized in the restive southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, along with a lawyer who was accompanying him, in an ambush in which a third man was killed.
"In a complex operation... our two fellow citizens were freed and several bandits arrested," said the ministry statement reported by Iranian media.
The kidnappers had released a video in which they demanded a ransom of $5 million for Sedaqati, who won a bronze medal in the 2006 Asian Games, the government daily Iran said.
Sistan-Baluchestan is home to a large ethnic Baluchi community, most of whom are Sunni Muslims, the minority faith in Shiite-dominated Iran.
The area has been the scene of armed conflict with Sunni extremists carrying out assassinations, bombings and kidnappings targeting officials and civilians.