The well-known civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security operation was released Monday after he was kidnapped in the capital.

Tahseen al-Sheikhly was freed in eastern Baghdad, said a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information.

The Baghdad military spokesman's office confirmed the release without providing further details.

The announcement came a day after Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Mahdi Army militia fighters off the streets following clashes with Iraqi security forces.

Al-Sheikhly was kidnapped Thursday when gunmen stormed his home and killed three bodyguards in a Mahdi Army stronghold.