Pakistan rescues four Iranian soldiers from militant group

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Pakistan has rescued four Iranian soldiers being held captive by a militant group in the country’s restive southwest, the military said in a statement Thursday.

The rescue took place in Chaghi district of Balochistan province, near the Afghan border, the statement said.

“Terrorists of a proscribed organisation were reported to have entered Pakistan from Afghanistan side along with abducted Iranian soldiers,” it said.

“After exchange of fire, four Iranian soldiers (were) recovered,” it continued.

The statement said the soldiers were being handed over to Iranian authorities, though it did not say when. It also did not say what date the rescue took place, or name the group holding the soldiers.

The incident comes months after the extremist group Jaish al-Adl abducted 12 Iranian security personnel in October last year near the border.

Five of them were later released and handed back to Iran by Islamabad.

Relations between Pakistan and Iran recently suffered another blow after Tehran said a Pakistani suicide bomber was behind a February 13 attack that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards in its volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

Jaish al-Adl, which Tehran says operates mostly out of bases in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the blast.

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