QUETTA, June 13: Pakistani border security forces were put on high alert after suspected militants kidnapped 28 Iranian soldiers posted at checkposts on the Iranian side of the border in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

According to sources, Iranian authorities informed Pakistani officials about the kidnapping on Friday and sought their help in tracing and freeing the soldiers.

“The Iranian government has sought our help,” an official said, adding that Pakistani forces had been alerted.

The sources said that the kidnappers might not have crossed into the Pakistani area yet. “We are keeping a close watch on border areas,” the sources said.

According to reports, men belonging to a terrorist group attacked two checkposts manned by Pasdaran soldiers in Hindwan and Aikabaad areas in Sistan-Baluchestan early on Friday morning and took 32 soldiers hostage.

The kidnappers later released four soldiers who informed the authorities about the incident and said that they had been severely beaten up.

Although no group has so far claimed responsibility, Iranian authorities reportedly believe that Iranian terrorist organisation ‘Jundullah’ is involved in the kidnapping. The same group had kidnapped 21 Iranian port workers last year and Pakistani border security force and the Frontier Corps got them freed after launching an operation in Mand Billo area near the border.

“We don’t know which group is involved in the incident,” officials said, adding that Pakistani forces would launch an operation as soon as they received information about the presence of kidnappers in Pakistani area.



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