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Sep 14, 2010 9:43 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

American hiker released from Iranian prison

American hiker Sarah Shourd was released from an Iranian prison on Tuesday after being held for more than a year under suspicion of spying, NBC News reported.

Shourd, 32, was among one of three Americans apprehended by Iranian security forces near the border with northern Iraq in July 2009.

Her release came a day after Shourd's family countered a $500,000 bail request with a plea for Iran to drop or lower the sum because they were struggling to raise the cash.

It was unclear whether bail had been paid. "We do not know what the terms were of her release," NBC News' Andrea Mitchell reported from Tehran.

However, Iranian news agencies, quoting the judiciary, reported that bank documents had been submitted to secure Shourd's release and that she had been handed to Swiss officials who represent U.S. interests in the absence of diplomatic ties with Washington.

Iran's judiciary, meanwhile, said the detention of Shourd's two American friends - Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal - has been extended for two more months.

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