Iran General NewsPakistan hands over freed Iranian hostages

Pakistan hands over freed Iranian hostages

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AFP: Pakistani authorities late Monday began handing over 21 freed hostages to Iranian officials after rescuing them from a kidnap gang who whisked them over the border the day before. QUETTA, Pakistan, Aug 20, 2007 (AFP) – Pakistani authorities late Monday began handing over 21 freed hostages to Iranian officials after rescuing them from a kidnap gang who whisked them over the border the day before.

“The 21 recovered abductees are being handed over to Iranian officials and they are fulfilling formalities at an airbase near Quetta,” said the head of Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps, Major General Salim Nawaz.

Nawaz told reporters the gang leader Sher Khan had been killed in the dawn raid by Pakistani security forces that freed the hostages.

Two other kidnappers were wounded in the assault, he said.

The hostages, all Iranians, were abducted on Sunday in Iran’s neighbouring Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Pakistani security sources said earlier that troops surrounded the group in Mand, a mountainous town 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the Iranian border and “overpowered them” to release the hostages.

The group was flown by helicopter to Quetta, the capital of the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

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