Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pakistan Assisted in Rigi's Arrest

TEHRAN, Feb 24: Pakistan played a role in helping Iran arrest its most wanted militant Abdolmalek Rigi who was seized onboard a flight from Dubai, Islamabad’s ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Abbasi said on Wednesday.

“I must tell you that such action cannot be carried out without the cooperation of Pakistan. I am happy that he has been arrested,” Mr Abbasi told a media conference at Islamabad’s mission in Tehran.

Without elaborating, Mr Abbasi said details of Pakistan’s help to Iran in arresting Rigi would be revealed in “two or three days time.”

Rigi, the head of shadowy rebel group Jundallah was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.

Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said the entire operation to capture him was carried out by Iranian agents and no other regional country was involved.

An airport official from Bishkek told AFP on condition of anonymity on Tuesday that the passenger plane Rigi was travelling in was forced to land on Iranian territory by two Iranian jet bombers.

Iran’s official Press TV, quoting an unidentified source speaking on condition of anonymity, added on its English-language website that Rigi was seized along with one of his deputies.It said they “were captured after their plane was brought down by security forces in an airport in the Iranian Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas.”

On Wednesday, Mr Abbasi said Rigi was arrested “outside Pakistan.” “Based on what was shown and reported, he was arrested somewhere between Dubai, Afghanistan and Central Asia.”

Mr Abbasi said Pakistan too had been “working to arrest Rigi,” adding Islamabad had regularly handed over to Tehran members of his group, including his brother Abdolhamid who is now on death row in Iran.

After the October 2009 deadly suicide bombing in the Pisheen town of Sistan-Baluchestan which was claimed by Jundallah, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards had charged that Rigi had been briefly detained in Quetta but later released following intervention by Pakistan’s intelligence service.

On Wednesday, a top Iranian official said Rigi would be put on public trial, and urged his associates to give themselves up to the Islamic republic’s authorities.

“Rigi will be put on an open trial in Sistan-Baluchestan,” Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Marzieh, prosecutor of Zahedan, capital of the southeastern province bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, as saying.

From here.

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