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Pakistan Frees 11 Iranian Guards Arrested Near SW Border


Pakistan Frees 11 Iranian Guards Arrested Near SW Border

Pakistani authorities said Tuesday they have freed 11 Iranians who were arrested for illegally crossing the border into Pakistan.

It is unclear on what grounds the men were released.

Pakistani authorities initially identified the men as members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, but they later said they are security guards.

Iranian state television described the men as border guards who had chased a vehicle of suspected smugglers into Pakistan.

Pakistani authorities detained the Iranian guards on Monday in Mashkel, an area in Baluchistan province, near the Iranian border. Separatist groups in the region have been waging a low-level insurgency against the federal government in Islamabad for decades.

The arrests came just eight days after a suicide bombing in southeast Iran killed 57 people, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.

A Sunni Muslim group, Jundallah (God's soldiers), claimed responsibility. Iran has publicly accused the Pakistani intelligence service of supporting Jundallah. A senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards later said his forces should be allowed to confront the militants in Pakistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.