Monday, August 20, 2007

CIA-backed Jondollah's Iranian hostages in Pakistan released

Pakistani security forces have secured the release of 21 Iranians taken hostage by gunmen, and arrested 18 terrorists in armed clashes.

Armed bandits opened fire at vehicles in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province on Sunday and took civilians hostage, according to a report by Pakistan's private TV One from Quetta, the capital of Pakistan Baluchistan province.

Pakistani security forces managed to secure the release of the Iranian hostages early Monday in clashes with the gunmen.

Meanwhile, the state-run Pakistan Television Network, also referred to as PTV, announced that one of the hostages was killed during the shootout with the gunmen.

Meanwhile, Radio Pakistan said one person was killed and two others wounded in the clashes which led to the release of hostages. It however did not reveal the nationality of the victims.

Pakistan paramilitary forces arrested 18 bandits who belong to the outlaw 'Jondollah' group run by ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi. (for more on this group check here - VS)

Earlier Iranian police announced that bandits in southeast of the country had taken hostage civilians after opening fire at vehicles on Chabahar-Iranshahr road. The hostages were then transferred into the Pakistani territory.

There have been conflicting media reports on the number of hostages. It is reported that as many as 30 Iranian nationals were originally taken hostage by the bandits, the fate of eight of whom is still shrouded in mystery.