Kidnapped Iranian Border Guards Return Home
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s interior minister confirmed Sunday that the country’s border guards, who were kidnapped by a Pakistani-based terrorist group, have been released today and returned home after being held hostage for two months.
The abducted Iranian soldiers are released and have returned to the country and their families, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said in a statement today.
On February 6, the so-called Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group kidnapped the five Iranian border guards in Jakigour region in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan and took them to Pakistan.
Ever since, Iran has made special diplomatic efforts to release the soldiers.
Elsewhere in the statement, Rahmani Fazli affirmed that the release of the kidnapped guards was the result of coordinated and joint efforts by Iran’s security, law enforcement and diplomatic organizations, particularly with the assistance of the Islamic Republic’s border police and the governor-general office of Sistan and Balouchestan province.
He stressed that Tehran has had a multitude of options to set the kidnapped soldiers free and take firm action against the notorious terrorists, but refrained from “employing the conventional methods” to clamp down on the culprits because of the Islamic Republic’s “religious beliefs”.
The minister underlined that Pakistan has been unfortunately playing the role of a safe haven for the infamous terrorist group, but made it clear that Iran complied with the principles of good neighborliness and showed restraint on neighboring Pakistan.
In the meantime, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry released a separate statement today, and confirmed the return of 4 out of 5 kidnapped border guards to the country.
In its statement, the intelligence ministry has also expressed gratitude to the whole executive officials and organizations that contributed to the release of the soldiers, especially to the “managers, clerics and elders” of Sistan and Balouchestan province.
On March 23, the Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group had announced in a Twitter message that it had killed one of the abductees, called Jamshid Danaeifar.
Meanwhile, a senior local official in Iran’s northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi announced on Sunday that the released soldiers are likely to arrive in the provincial capital of Mashhad within the next 48 hours.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Ali Asghar Rashidi, a deputy governor-general for political and security affairs, said the border guards are expected to arrive in Mashhad with a planned ceremony to celebrate their return to home after 2 months.