Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Top Baluchi terrorist captured by Iranians

The Baluchi nationalist leader believed to be behind a bombing campaign in Iran has been captured, according to Iran's state TV. Abdolmalek Rigi, whose brother is already on death row in Iran, was captured within the last few days and is now being held in eastern Iran, according to reports.
Rigi, who heads the Jundallah organisation, which is fighting for autonomy for Iranian Baluchis, is alleged to have been behind a bomb explosion on 18 October last year that killed 42 people, including six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders in Zahedan in south-east Iran.
The circumstances of Rigi's capture are murky. TV footage (see still pic above) shows him being led out of a private executive jet, accompanied by several armed figures dressed in black. However, Iran's official IRNA news agency said that Rigi had been travelling in a plane to an Arab country via Pakistan before his arrest.
"His plane was ordered to land and then he was arrested after the plane was searched", according to news agency AFP. Another report says he was arrested from a plane flying from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.
Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said today that Rigi was captured outside the country and brought into Iran. “This evil person who took orders from intelligence agents of foreign countries was captured in a proper time outside the country,” he told reporters in Birjand, eastern Iran. Najjar added, “Abdolmalek intended to move from one place to another place to plan a new evil act” who was trapped by Iranian security and intelligence forces.
The strong likelihood is that Rigi was captured in Pakistan and handed over to the Iranians. In October Pakistani officials told the Iranians that Jundallah was supported by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi organisation.
Iranian officials later claimed that Rigi had been in an American military base in Afghanistan only 24 hours before his capture and that he was issued with Afghani travel documents. They also said he had recently been in European countries. None of these claims could be verified.

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