At least ten Iranian security personnel including Revolutionary Guards were kidnapped on the border with Pakistan today, state media reported, and a separatist group that claimed responsibility described the act as revenge for the oppression of Sunni Muslims.
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s top security force, said in a statement carried on state television that some of its members had been abducted by a militant group at a border post in the city of Mirjaveh in Sistan-Baluchestan province.
The Guards did not say how many were kidnapped, but state news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed official as saying 14 people had been kidnapped around 4am or 5am
The Guards said it believed the Iranian forces had been deceived by several “insiders”, but did not elaborate. Fars news agency said there were reports the Iranian forces had been poisoned by food before being captured and taken to Pakistan.
Ebrahim Azizi, spokesman of Jaish Al-Adl, a Sunni militant group, said the group had seized more than ten people.
“This morning Jaish Al-Adl forces attacked a border post in Mirjaveh, and captured all their weapons,” Azizi said in an audio message sent to Reuters.
The group also claimed responsibility on its Twitter account.
Azizi said the attack was a retaliation for what he called the Iranian state’s oppression of Sunni people in Sistan-Baluchestan, a mainly Sunni province that has a long history of unrest by separatist militants.
Jaish Al-Adl kidnapped five Iranian border guards in 2014 and released four of them two months later after mediation by local Sunni clerics.