News / Middle East

Iran Says It May Send Forces to Pakistan to Free Border Guards

Sistan-Baluchustan province, Iran
Sistan-Baluchustan province, Iran
Reuters
Iran said on Monday it would send forces into Pakistan to free five border guards said to have been kidnapped by militants if Islamabad did not take measures to secure their release.
 
According to Iranian media reports, the guards were seized on February 6 in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan by militants who allegedly took them across the border to Pakistan.
 
“If Pakistan doesn't take the needed steps to fight against the terrorist groups, we will send our forces into Pakistani soil. We will not wait for this country,” Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli was quoted as telling the semi-official Mehr news agency.
 
A Sunni insurgent Iranian group calling itself Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, according to a Twitter account purporting to belong to the group.
 
The account's authenticity could not be immediately verified.
 
The area where the kidnappings took place has a history of unrest, with the mainly Sunni Muslim population complaining of discrimination by Iran's Shi'ite Muslim authorities, a charge Iran denies.
 
Iranian security forces have also fought drug traffickers in the region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.
 
The Iranian armed forces' deputy chief of staff was quoted as telling the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran would “show tough confrontation in this case”.
 
“We will have no soft stand in this case and our neighboring country ... should account for its lack of action,” Major General Hossein Hassani Sa'di told reporters in Tehran on Monday, according to Fars English language website.
 
Sa'di said the guards were still alive, and underlined that “political and military measures are underway to set them free”, without elaborating.
 
Interior Minister Rahmani-Fazli said an Iranian delegation would visit Pakistan on Monday to secure the guards' release, state news agency ISNA reported.
 
In October, 14 Iranian border guards were killed and three others captured in the same area in an attack that ISNA said was carried out by Jaish al-Adl.
 
Sunni Muslim militant group Jundollah, which Iran says is linked to al-Qaida, has claimed a number of attacks and kidnappings since 2003, including a 2010 suicide bombing that killed dozens of people at a Shi'ite mosque.

You May Like

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid