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Image courtesy of The U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons.

A British oil worker was rescued by United Arab Emirates (UAE) forces in Yemen on Sunday after being held by Al Qaeda militants for 18 months.

According to the Guardian, UAE forces freed British oil worker Douglas Robert Semple during an intelligence operation near the port city of Aden.

The oil worker was abducted by gun wielding Al Qaeda militants last February while working in Hadramawt, a remote province in the eastern part of Yemen, the BBC said.

He was flown on a military plan to Abu Dhabi on Saturday night where he was able to telephone his wife.

Semple, 64, is set to return to the UK after medical checks are conducted, the BBC added.

A Yemeni official told Reuters that Semple was rescued from a military base northwest of Aden.

Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed that Semple is safe after being extracted by UAE forces as part of a “military intelligence operation.”

“The British national is safe and well, and is receiving support from British government officials. We are very grateful for the assistance of the UAE,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.

Al Qaeda forces took over a western district of Aden, Yemen’s main port city, on Saturday night, Reuters added.