Terming, the recent killing of Iranian border guards on its border with Pakistan, as a terror attack, Iran has demanded that Pakistan identify and extradite the perpetrators. On Oct 25, 14 Iranian border guards were killed and three others wounded by "armed bandits" in the border region of Saravan in the country's south-eastern province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan. In retaliation, meanwhile, on Saturday, Iran executed 16 people, said to be elements belonging to the "terrorist" groups.
Although the government did not give details of who carried out the attack on Iranian border guards which killed 14 and injured three, media reports say the area has a history of sectarian unrest. The area's dominant Sunni Muslims complain of discrimination at the hands of Iran's Shia Muslims.
ISNA News Agency reports that, Jundollah, a Sunni Muslim militant group associated with the al Qaeda, has claimed to carry out a number of such attacks and kidnappings in the region since 2003. Its attacks include a 2010 suicide bombing that killed dozens of people at a Shia mosque.
The area is also known for drug traffickers with whom Iranian security forces have regularly clashed in the past.
"The attackers, who saw that conditions were unsafe for their actions, retreated to the country opposite [the border, Pakistan] after the clash," Rajab-Ali Sheikhzadeh, a provincial official, told ISNA.
In apparent retaliation, meanwhile, Iran executed 16 people on Saturday. Those executed were said to be elements of "terrorist" groups.
"These individuals were executed this Saturday morning in response to the terrorist action of last evening at (provincial capital) Saravan and the martyrdom of the border guards," Zahedan public prosecutor Mohammad Marzieh told the media.
Demanding that Pakistan take action against the culprits who allegedly escaped into its territory, Marziyeh Afkham, spokeswoman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, that Pakistan must identify, apprehend and extradite those who killed the border guards.
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