News ID: 240556
Published: 0943 GMT March 23, 2019

Freed Iranian soldiers receive hero's welcome in Tehran

Freed Iranian soldiers receive hero's welcome in Tehran

Four Iranian border guards rescued this week from detention by a terrorist group have arrived in Tehran to a warm welcome ceremony attended by a top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Crops (IRGC).

IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour personally welcomed the soldiers as they touched down in the Iranian capital on Friday.

Video footage from the event showed the soldiers stepping off an Antonov 74 transport aircraft as Pakpour greeted them, Press TV reported.

Twelve Iranian border guards were kidnapped on October 16 by the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group at the Mirjaveh border point in Iran's southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province and were transferred to Pakistan.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced Thursday that that had been released a day earlier. Five of the guards were released in November.

The Pakistan military said in a statement on Thursday that it had rescued the soldiers in Chaghi district of Balochistan province, near the Afghan border.

"I am happy that these soldiers are returning to their families at the beginning of the new (Iranian) year, but I am also saddened that the remaining soldiers are still in captivity," Pakpour told the media on Thursday.

He reassured the families of the remaining soldiers that "we will do what is necessary to free them as well."

Iranian military and political officials have been in constant consultations with their Pakistani counterparts over the fate of the hostages. Tehran has even offered joint operations with Islamabad to release the abductees.

The guards were taken hostage by the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist in group, which was formed in 2012 by members of the Pakistan-based Jundallah, another terror outfit which was dismantled by Iranian intelligence forces in 2010 after its ringleader, Abdolmalek Rigi, was executed.

Iranian border guards have repeatedly come under attacks by terror outfits active on the Pakistani soil.

Back in August, Iran managed to release a guard from terrorist captivity. He had been abducted during an ambush on a border outpost in Mirjaveh and held in Pakistan for more than a year.



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