BENGHAZI, Libya - Seven Iranian relief workers who had been taken hostage by an armed group in July in the Libyan city of Benghazi were freed on Saturday, a Libyan security source and the Libyan Red Crescent Association said.

The seven Iranian men arrived in Benghazi in late July as guests of the Libyan Red Crescent to help with relief work in the city. They were seized from their vehicle by an unknown armed group in the heart of Benghazi.

Mohamed El-Misrati, spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent, told Reuters: "With the cooperation of the local council in Benghazi, the seven relief workers were released. They are in good health and en route to Iran."

The security source said they were released about midday. It was not immediately clear who freed them, or why now.

Their abduction is one of several violent incidents that have rocked the birthplace of last year's revolt that toppled veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

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