News / Middle East

Pakistani Jihadis Claim Execution of Iranian Hostage

The Iranian border guards purportedly captured by the Pakistani Jihadist group Jaish al-Adl.
The Iranian border guards purportedly captured by the Pakistani Jihadist group Jaish al-Adl.
Maryam Manzoori
Sunni Muslim militants have killed one of the five Iranian border guards they have been holding hostage for the past six weeks, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Monday.

It identified the victim as Jamshid Danaei-Fard, shown sitting against a mud wall in an unidentified location with the other four captives in a grainy photo apparently taken by their captors.

Fars, quoting an "informed source", said the four other hostages were in good health, without giving further details.

The guards were seized while patroling the lawless frontier with Pakistan on February 8.  Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), an Iranian Sunni Muslim rebel group in Sistan-Baluchistan province later claimed responsibility.

The group claimed responsibility on its Twitter account for the abduction and posted photographs on Facebook and a 15-minute video in their YouTube account allegedly showing the captive guards.

The group said on its website on Sunday that it had killed the border guard. Neither Tehran nor Islamabad could immediately confirm the report. Pakistani authorities said on Monday they were still investigating.

Hossein-Ali Amiri, the Iranian deputy interior minister who previously confirmed the killing of the guard by the rebel group, in a new statement said he hoped the news was not true.

Amiri and the Sistan-Baluchistan provincial governor confirmed the execution according to a local source, but said there is still uncertainty over the news.

Initially the Iranian interior ministry rejected the news, but it was later confirmed by Sistan-Baluchistan provincial officials, home to a large Sunni minority of ethnic Baluch. The controversy has Iran calling on Pakistan to state its “official position”.

Iran has protested the kidnappings and accused Pakistani authorities of failing to protect their shared border. Tehran believed the five were being held in Pakistani territory and dispatched a delegation to Islamabad to pressure Pakistan to free the  frontier guards.

One day after Tehran said it might send forces into Pakistan to free the kidnapped border guards if Islamabad did not take measures to secure their release, Pakistan’s foreign ministry delivered a statement urging Iran to respect its borders. It also said it was possible the kidnappers, along with the abducted guards, were still hiding within the Iranian territory.

Jaish al-Adl in its latest statement, issued on Sunday, March 24, threatened to kill another hostage “if Iran does not free Sunni prisoners”. The group had previously said it would not free the border guards unless 50 Jaish al-Adl members held in Syria, as well as 50 Jaish al-Adl members and 200 other Sunni inmates held in Iranian prisons, were freed.

The kidnapping has further inflamed tension between Tehran and Islamabad over sectarian violence. Iran accuses Pakistan of supporting the rebels.

The Iranian deputy interior minister warned the issue will affect the diplomatic talks between Iran and Pakistan by making them more complicated.

Despite Twitter being blocked in Iran, the hashtag #Freeiraniansoldiers became viral on Twitter after the kidnapping and tens of thousands of outraged tweets came in support of the abductees.

(Some information for this report contributed by Reuters.) 

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid