- Posted April 4, 2014 by
Sistan Baluchestan, Iran
Iranian Abducted Border Guards Released
___________________ By Masoud Karian, I.R.I.B. ___________________
Four out of five Iranian border guards seized byJaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni Muslim rebel group operating in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province, two months ago have now been released.
"These soldiers have been handed over to the Iranian officials in Pakistan by Jaish Al-Adl terrorist group a few hours ago," an informed Iranian security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told FNA—Iran’s semiofficial news agency.
The news first went public by Jaish Al- Adl, al Qaeda-linked militants, on its website. One of the border guards was killed by the terrorist group last week. The movement said it had killed a fifth member of the group of guards in March.
"The kidnapped Iranian border guards are safe; there is no verified information to substantiate the terrorists’ claim of murder of one of the kidnapped soldiers," Rahimpour said.
Last Thursday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli cautioned Islamabad to adopt a more responsible approach towards the safety of the five abducted Iranian border guards, one of whom was killed by Jeish Al-Adl terrorist group this week.
The abduction in early February heightened regional and sectarian tensions. Iran had said the guards were taken into Pakistan and it threatened to send troops over the border to retrieve them.
"Iran will draw on all of its capabilities along its borders with Pakistan if Islamabad does not adopt a responsible approach regarding the five Iranian border guards recently abducted by a Pakistan-based terrorist group," Rahmani Fazli told reporters. He reiterated that Iran will consider it as its right to use all its might to release the Iranian border guards.
The Iranian interior minister called on Pakistan to take more “measured and principled” action with respect to such issues and observe its legal obligations regarding its neighbors under international law.
Fars quoted Iranian lawmaker Esmail Kosari announcing the news. It did not give any details of when the release took place or what brought it about.
The movement said it had killed a fifth member of the group of guards in March.
Iran's Students News agency ISNA quoted a statement from Jaish al-Adl saying "Sunni clerics' mediation led to the guards' release ... as a sign of our goodwill".
Fars also said the body of a slain guard had been handed over to officials of Tehran's embassy in Pakistan.
"They have not been released in Pakistan. We don't know where they were kept or released…we have no indication that these Iranian border guards were kept in Pakistan," Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told Reuters.
Iranian media in October reported killing of 14 Iranian border guards by the same group near the border town of Saravan.
The border region is also rife with drug and arms traffickers.
________________________ Tehran, I.R.I.B.________________________