30 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Reports in Iran say several Iranian soldiers abducted near the Pakistani border in December have been freed.
Iranian news agencies IRNA and Fars News agency reported the development today, although the number of soldiers released remains unclear. A total of nine Iranian soldiers were kidnapped.
The hostage takers claimed they were members of a Sunni militant group called Jundollah (Soldiers of God). But Iranian officials have said they were drug smugglers with ties to terrorist groups. They have also said the abducted soldiers might have been taken into Pakistani territory.