TEHRAN, June 14: Pakistan has handed over to Iran four Iranian rebels, including the brother of a militant group’s leader, state media reported on Saturday.

The handover took place as part of a security pact between Iran and Pakistan, which borders the Sistan-Baluchestan province in southeastern Iran, state television said.

Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Abdolmalek Rigi, ringleader of the Jundallah group, was handed over to Iran on Friday night, the official IRNA news agency said.

“Rigi had been jailed in Quetta, Pakistan, over the past year,” IRNA said, adding that he had sought to present himself along with 15 others as Pakistani nationals. “But he was handed over after officials presented evidence that these people are to be prosecuted in Iran,” it said.—AFP

Saleem Shahid adds from Quetta: Iran-based extremist organisation Jundallah has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of dozens of Iranian security personnel. It has threatened to kill them if its members, arrested in Iran, are not released within two weeks.

A spokesman for the outlawed outfit, identifying himself as Maulvi Rauf, told newsmen on Saturday that 12 of the 28 Pasdaran had been released. “Sixteen Pasdaran are still in our custody,” he added.

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