Reported Release of Abducted Border Guards “A Possibility”: Official

Reported Release of Abducted Border Guards “A Possibility”: Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Governor-General of Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan said reports about the release of five kidnapped Iranian border guards have not been confirmed yet.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Saturday, Ali Owsat Hashemi referred to reports on freedom of the guards and said their release has been mentioned (only) as a possibility.

He said, at the same time, that Pakistani officials have promised good news (about the guards’ fate).

The five Iranian soldiers were abducted in Jakigour region in Sistan and Balouchestan on February 6 and taken to Pakistan.

The so-called Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the abductions.

Meantime, an official with the office of Ali Abdollahi, Iran’s deputy interior minister for security and law enforcement affairs, told Tasnim that no official news has been received about the release of the guards.

Also, Mohammad Saeed Arbabi, representative of Iranshahr in the parliament, informed Tasnim that in an operation conducted by the Pakistani Army, 11 Iranians have been released but noted that their identity has not been disclosed yet.

“We don’t know as yet whether the five border guards are among them."

Earlier, Abdollahi had said Iran’s ministries of interior and foreign affairs are seriously pursuing the case of the abductees and seeking to secure their release.

Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmail Ahmadi Moqaddam on Thursday said he was optimistic that the five will be freed soon.

In recent days, Iranian officials have stressed that the Pakistani government has a commitment to secure its borders with Iran based on the joint security agreement signed by the two countries.

They have suggested that Tehran could send forces into Pakistan to free the five soldiers.

In February 2013, Tehran and Islamabad signed a security agreement which requires both sides to take strict measures to combat terrorism and human and drug trafficking.

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