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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs