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Iran Confirms Soldiers Kidnapped Near Pakistani Border


2 January 2006 -- Iran has confirmed reports that nine Iranian soldiers have been kidnapped by a little-known Sunni Muslim rebel group near its border with Pakistan.


Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hussein Elham said that "the Interior Ministry is seriously and comprehensively pursuing the matter and we hope to solve it in a way to protect their lives."


The soldiers were reported yesterday to have disappeared from their post.


On 31 December, a caller speaking for the Jundollah (Soldiers of God) told the Al-Arabiyah television station that the group wants Tehran to release 16 of its jailed members in exchange for the soldiers.


(Reuters, AFP)

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