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Iran conducts surgical strike in Pakistan, frees border guards held by Baloch terrorists


Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Ground Force's Quds Base in Southeastern Iran said in the statement that two of its border guards were freed in a successful intelligence operation on Tuesday night.

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File photo: Members of the revolutionary guard attend the anniversary ceremony of Iran's Islamic Revolution at the Khomeini shrine in the Behesht Zahra cemetery, south of Tehran. (File photo: Reuters)

Iran has reportedly conducted a 'surgical strike' in Pakistan this week and rescued its imprisoned men from the country.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) freed two of its soldiers in an intelligence operation inside Pakistan, the force said in a statement.

The IRGC Ground Force's Quds Base in Southeastern Iran said in the statement that two of its border guards were freed in a successful intelligence operation on Tuesday night.

"A successful operation was carried out last Tuesday night to rescue two kidnapped border guards who were taken as hostages by Jaish ul-Adl organization two and a half years ago," the IRGC said in its statement.

The soldiers, according to the statement, were successfully transferred back to Iran.

A Pakistan-based radical Wahhabi terrorist group 'Jaish ul-Adl' had on October 16, 2018, kidnapped 12 IRGC guards to the Pakistani territory in the city of Merkava in Sistan and Baluchestan Province on the border between the two countries, the Andalou report said.

Military officials reportedly formed a joint committee between Tehran and Islamabad to free the kidnapped IRCG soldiers.

Five of the soldiers were released on November 15, 2018, while four more Iranian soldiers were rescued by the Pakistani army on March 21, 2019.

Declared a terrorist organisation by Tehran, Jaish ul-Adl is pursuing an armed struggle against the Iranian government, claiming to defend the rights of Baloch Sunnis in Iran.

History of Jaish ul-Adl

The terrorist group, that has been staging cross-border attacks into southeast Iran from southwest Pakistan, had also claimed responsibility for the February 2019 attack on Iran's Basij paramilitary base which killed and wounded dozens of IRGC members after their bus came under terrorist attack in the province

The group has bases in southwestern Pakistan and started operations after recruiting the remnants of Jundullah, a Sunni militant organisation based in Sistan and Baluchestan in Iran, and reorganising them. Iran had captured leaders of Jundullah and dismantled the terrorist organization years earlier.

Jaish ul-Adl also abducted five Iranian border guards in Jakigour region of Sistan and Baluchistan province and took them to Pakistan in 2014. After two months of abduction, four of them were released while the fifth one was killed. His body was returned to Iran months later.

Then early in March 2015, Pakistani sources told the country's media that authorities in Southwestern Pakistan had arrested the ringleader of Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group as he was travelling on a bus from the lawless border area.

Salam Rigi, the cousin of Jundallah terrorist group's ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi, was seized by Pakistani authorities who were tipped off about his movements. The bus he was travelling on was intercepted some 50 km from Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan, a security official said on the condition of anonymity.

Salam Rigi was accused of involvement in suicide bombings in Iran and Pakistan, as well as sending terrorists to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

Other sources said the terrorist arrested was Abdo-Sattar Rigi (Abdolmalek's brother), explaining that he was carrying his cousin's ID card at the time of arrest, but further investigations revealed his true identity.

Later reports proved that the captured terrorist was Abdo-Sattar Rigi.

Abdo-Sattar (the third of the notorious Rigi brothers) headed the Jaysh al-Nasr terrorist group, but his cousin Salam leads Jaish al-Adl.

Abdo-Sattar's two older brothers, Abdolmalek and Abdolhamid Rigi, who led the more powerful terrorist group Jundallah, were both captured and condemned to death by Iran earlier.

In early 2009, Abdolhamid Rigi, the Jundullah terrorist group's Number Two man and brother of its ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi, was arrested by Iranian security forces.

Abdolhamid had conducted a number of bombing operations and violent attacks in Iran resulting in many casualties and was sentenced to death by the court in 2009, but his execution was delayed on several occasions. Officials did not mention any specific reason for the delayed execution of Abdolhamid at the time.

Iran arrested Abdolmalek Rigi, the number one man of the Jundallah terrorist group in late February 2011. Abdolmalek was executed in June 2011.

Iranian military and police officials voice concern over the presence of terrorist groups in Pakistan's territories, criticizing the Pakistani army and border police's lax control over shared borders

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