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Refugee Bahraini footballer leaves Thai jail after extradition bid dropped

BANGKOK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - A Bahraini footballer with refugee status in Australia, Hakeem Al Araibi, left a Thai jail on Monday after authorities dropped a controversial extradition case against him.

A Reuters witness said Araibi, 25, left the Bangkok remand prison shortly after state prosecutors announced Bahrain had dropped its request to extradite him for crimes it accuses him of committing during the Arab Spring protests of 2011.

The footballer, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was arrested in November at a Bangkok airport while on a honeymoon trip following an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

It was not immediately clear when Bahrain withdrew its extradition request. Authorities in the Middle Eastern nation did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters seeking comment. (Reporting by Juarawee Kittisilpa; Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in DUBAI; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)