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Iran says may send forces into Pakistan territory

Tehran has warned Pakistan that Iranian forces may enter its territory to release border guards seized by a rebel group

Published: Updated:

Tehran’s interior minister has warned Pakistan that Iranian forces may enter Pakistani and Afghan territory to release border guards seized by a rebel group, the Associated Press reported.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli’s remarks on state TV come a week after the little-known Jaish-ul Adl posted photos on Twitter of five men it claims are Iranian border guards it seized near Pakistan.

The official asked Pakistan to treat the case “strongly and seriously” or allow Iran to secure the remote region “deep on Afghanistan and Pakistan soil.”

“Otherwise we do consider it our own right to intervene and create a new security sphere for our safety,” he said.

Home to a large Sunni minority and ethnic Baluch in a predominantly Shiite country, Sistan-Baluchestan province has been the scene of unrest in recent years, Agence France-Presse reported.

Jaish-ul Adl said in November it assassinated a local prosecutor, and in October it ambushed Iranian border guards, killing 14.

In response, Iranian authorities executed 16 “rebels” - eight Sunni insurgents and eight drug traffickers, according to AFP.

(With the Associated Press and AFP)