Gunmen in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt released a journalist they had held hostage for two months, a local official and residents said Thursday.
Masked and carrying guns, the kidnappers abducted Rehmatullah Darpakhel on Aug. 11, in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, a known hub of Taliban and al Qaida-linked militants such as the Haqqani network.
"Rehmatullah Darpakhel has been freed and has returned home. He was freed unconditionally," Mohammad Amin, a government official in Miranshah, said.
His release was brokered by tribal elders and on Wednesday Darpakhel was welcomed home by hundreds of tribesmen firing into air, a local tradition in times of celebration, residents said.
In August, the UN Human Rights Commissioner urged Pakistan to investigate a spate of killings and disappearances of journalists, including that of Darpakhel.
According to press watchdog Reporters without Borders, Pakistan has been the world's deadliest country for the media in 2011 with at least eight journalists killed in connection with their work.
Faisal Qureshi, 28, a journalist working for a London-based online news site was murdered last week in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.
Reporter Saleem Shahzad was found dead on May 31 after disappearing in Islamabad.