TEHRAN, Iran – Militants in Iran kidnapped 14 members of a border patrol near the Pakistani border on Tuesday's recent strike against the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Media reports citing an unnamed but informed source as saying that two of the abductees are members of the guard's intelligence department. The remainder consists of seven members of the Basij troop, a voluntary wing of the Guard, as well as regular Iranian border guards.
The kidnapping took place under cover of darkness near the Loukdan border crossing in southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province. The area, which is on a major opium trade route, occasionally encountered clashes between Iranian troops and Baluch separatists and drug traffickers.
Iranian media later said that an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, known as Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibility for the attack
In an earlier abduction, the militant group killed an Iranian officer and dismissed four soldiers after they she had been holding for almost two months. The prisoners were reportedly brought to Pakistan.
The guard confirmed the latest abductions in a statement on its website, saying the attack was "betrayal committed by infiltrators".
The statement accused a "terror group led and supported by foreign intelligence services," saying that Iranian security forces "are seriously persecuting bandits, terrorists, and infiltrators, and said the perpetrators are" hired by some evil, reactionary, and terrorist trainers from regional countries "An allusion to Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab allies of the kingdom.
The Guard called on Pakistan to take action to secure its side
Later on Tuesday, General Mohammad Pakpour demanded that Commander of the Guard's ground forces, a joint Iranian-Pakistani operation against the kidnappers' backers, said the Pakistani side must "take more responsibility in this regard."
Iranian state television said the attack was close to a Pakistani one Border Guard passes.
The param Military Guard replies directly to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 19659015] In September, militants disguised as soldiers opened fire on a military parade in Iran's oil-rich southwestern city of Ahvaz. Twenty-four people were killed and over 60 injured. Khamenei accused Riyadh and Abu Dhabi of the attack, allegations that both countries rejected. 19659016] Arab separatists in the region claimed responsibility for the attack, as did the Islamic State group.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.