Iran demands Pakistan extradite suspected Iranian militant

IRANTEHRAN: Iran has demanded the extradition of a suspected Iranian Sunni militant arrested over the weekend in a border area in Pakistan, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

The two countries share a volatile and porous border, often used by smugglers and militants, including members of a Sunni militant group known as Jundullah, or “Army of God”.

Jundullah is made up of mostly Iranian Sunnis, mainly from the ethnic Baloch community that allegedly operates from Pakistan’s Balochistan province and is trying to overthrow the Shia-dominated government in Iran.

The Fars agency quoted General Masoud Rezvani, chief of Iran’s branch of Interpol, as saying that Tehran is asking Islamabad to hand over Abdul Sattar Rigi, arrested by Pakistani authorities in Balochistan as he was traveling on a bus in the border area.

Iran handed Interpol the request for Abdul Sattar, a cousin of Abdul Malik Rigi and a “well-known terrorist,” Rezvani said. Abdul Malik, who was the top leader of Jundullah, was arrested and executed by Iran in early 2011.

After Iran captured most Jundullah members and disbanded the group, the remaining militants created Jaish al-Adl, which is believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and has been held responsible for several attacks in Iran over the past two years.

A Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the case, confirmed to The Associated Press the recent arrest of a senior Jundullah figure but would not provide more details.

In Feb 2014, Jaish al-Adl abducted five Iranian border guards outside Sarbaz, a town in Iran’s restive southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province near the Pakistani border with. The guards were taken to Pakistan and one of them was reported killed in captivity while the remaining four were released two months later.

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