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Iran may send forces to Pakistan - Plans to free kidnapped guards

DUBAI, Feb 17, (RTRS): 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 Feb 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

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