Iran Guards say Pakistan released Jundallah leader
TEHRAN — (AFP): The deputy head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards charged on Friday that Pakistan arrested and then released the leader of Jundallah a few days before a suicide bombing claimed by the Sunni rebel group.
“We have precise information about the movement and places where terrorists are hiding,” the Fars news agency quoted Brigadier General Hossein Salami as saying.
“On September 26, Abdolmalek Rigi was arrested in one of the streets of Quetta but after one hour he was released following the intervention of the intelligence service of our neighbouring country,” Salami said.
Quetta is the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, which borders Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province where Jundallah is active. Ethnic Baluchis, the community the rebel group says it is fighting for, straddle the border.
Some 42 people, including 15 Revolutionary Guards members, died in the October 18 bombing in the Sistan-Baluchestan town of Pisheen.
“How is it possible that this guy can move freely (unless he is) under the protection of the intelligence services?” the Guards number two said, according to Fars.
Iran has said those responsible for the bombing were based in Pakistan and has demanded that Islamabad hand Rigi over.
Islamabad has strongly denied that Jundallah (Soldiers of God) launched the attack from its territory.
On Thursday, Pakistani police said three Iranians arrested for illegally entering Pakistan may have been linked to the Pisheen bombing.