Wed, Oct 17, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Iranian security personnel seized on Pakistan border

INFILTRATORS:Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blamed ‘terrorist groups’ supported by foreign groups for the abductions and demanded action by Pakistan


Fourteen Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers, were yesterday abducted on the volatile southeastern border with Pakistan, state media reported.

The guards blamed “terrorist groups that are guided and supported by foreign forces” for the abductions and demanded action by the Pakistani authorities to help locate the captive troops.

The force was “abducted between 4am and 5am in the Lulakdan area of the border by a terrorist group,” the Islamic Republic News Agency said.

Lulakdan is a small village 150km southeast of Zahedan, capital of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

The abduction was carried out by “infiltrators linked to anti-revolutionary groups,” the guards said in a statement on their Web site.

“Members of terrorist groups that are guided and supported by foreign forces carried this out through deceiving and bribing infiltrators,” they added.

They said operations were under way to find those responsible and called on Pakistan “to stamp out terrorists that are stationed near the border” and help recover the captive Iranians.

The 14 were involved in “a security operation” and included two members of the elite Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit, seven Basij militiamen and five regular border guards, state-owned news Web site Young Journalists’ Club said.

The report was deleted from the YJC Web site shortly afterwards.

The province has long been a flashpoint, with Baluchi separatists and jihadists based in Pakistan regularly attacking Iranian security posts.

On Sept. 28, the guards said they had killed four militants who had slipped across the border.

Sistan-Baluchistan has a large, mainly Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchi community that straddles the border.

Sunni extremist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) launched a bloody insurgency in the province in 2000 targeting the security forces and officials of Iran’s Shiite-dominated government.

The campaign peaked with a spate of deadly attacks from 2007 — including twin suicide bombings against a Shiite mosque that killed 28 people — but abated after the group’s leader was killed in mid-2010.

In 2012, Jundullah members formed a successor organization called Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which has carried out a spate of attacks on the security forces.

Iran has alleged that the group has received support from the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, with the complicity of Pakistan.

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