Rebels Free Kidnapped Policeman

A03183826.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- A rebel group has released one of a group of Iranian policemen it said it kidnapped in southeastern Iran in June, a police commander said on Tuesday.

The Jundullah (Soldiers of God) group said they captured 16 Iranian border policemen on June 12 at a checkpoint in Saravan, in Sistan-Baluchestan province, before taking them across the border into Pakistan.

“The terrorist group called Jundullah released one of our policemen a few days ago and he has returned home,” said the deputy chief of Iranian police, General Hossein Zolfaghari.

“Based on his account, the rest of the kidnapped police are alive,” he added.

The group said last month they have killed several of the hostages and vowed to carry out two more executions each week unless Tehran agreed to their demands for the release of 200 of the group’s detained fighters.

Zolfaghari said the number of policemen seized was 15 and not 16 as reported by the rebel group. Iran made no concession for the policeman’s release, he said.

He also accused Pakistani authorities of “not being serious in releasing the rest of the kidnapped police”.

The group has been blamed for a string of attacks and kidnappings in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province, which straddles the border with Pakistan.

Jundullah has conducted several terrorist operations in southeastern Iran, including abduction and killing of dozens of Iranian citizens and officials.

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