Iranian forces have reportedly conducted a “surgical strike” in Pakistan on Tuesday night and freed two of their missing border security guards.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement that it had freed two of its soldiers in an intelligence operation in Pakistan. “A successful operation was carried out last Tuesday night to rescue two kidnapped border guards who were taken as hostages by Jaish ul-Adl group two and a half years ago”, the statement read. The freed soldiers were moved back to Iran.
A militant group named “Jaish ul-Adl” (Army of Justice) had reportedly “kidnapped” 12 IRGC soldiers in October 2018 from the city of Mirjaveh in Sistan and Baluchistan on the border between Iran and Pakistan. The militant group – which claims to promote the rights of Baloch Sunnis in Iran and advocates for the independence of Sistan and Baluchistan – has been carrying out an armed struggle against the Iran government.
The military officials reportedly made a joint committee with the Islamabad to free the IRGC soldiers. Five of the detained soldiers were released in November 2018, and four others were reportedly rescued by the Pakistani military in March 2019.
Two other soldiers, Abbas Abidi and Majeed Narwai, were released on Tuesday in return for the release of four imprisoned Jaish-ul-Adl militants – Abdul Rehman Sanghani, Abu Bakr Rustami, Shabir Ahmed Sherani and Mohd. Sabir. Three of the four arrestees had been sentenced to death by Tehran.
The Iranian forces exchanged hostages with the Jaish-ul-Adl members in Mashkel area of Balochistan.