Baluchestan prov, Aug 20, IRNA
Iranian nationals who were taken hostage by armed bandits on Sunday morning and then transferred to Pakistan were released during a military operation early Monday morning, said a local security official.
Deputy governor for security affairs of the province, Mohsen Sadeqi, told IRNA in this southeastern provincial city, that the operation was launched by Pakistan security forces in the country's Balochistan province, southwest of Pakistan.
The hostages were released after their kidnappers' hideout was surrounded by Pakistani forces, Sadeqi said without mentioning the number of the released Iranians.
The Iranian nationals were taken hostage by armed bandits on Chabahar-Iranshahr road on Sunday and then taken to Pakistan.
Iranian officials took the necessary measures with the cooperation of Pakistani officials to arrest hostage-takers and release the hostages, Sadeqi said.
He added that a number of the bandits were killed during the operation and some others wounded.
According to Sadeqi a number of the kidnappers were arrested by Pakistani forces.
According to unofficial reports, Sadeqi said, the case of hostages' release and their handing over to the Iranian authorities are being pursued through political and diplomatic channels.
Sadeqi also appreciated officials of Pakistan's Balochistan province and referred to their cooperation with Iranians as a "turning point in the political and security relations of the two neighboring provinces."
... Payvand News - 8/20/07 ... --