Iranian report: 5 abducted border guards freed in Pakistan

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency says five of 12 border guards abducted in October by militants near the Pakistani border, have been released.

Thursday’s report quotes Iran’s Revolutionary Guard chief Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying the five have been “handed over to the Pakistani government.” The fate of the others remains unknown.

Jafari didn’t elaborate and there was no comment from Islamabad. Pakistan has promised to help free the Iranian guards.

The guards were abducted in a pre-dawn raid near the Loukdan border crossing in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province. The area has seen occasional clashes with Baluch separatists and also drug traffickers.

Details were sketchy and Iran has since twice revised the number of the abducted border force, including some from the Iran’s vaunted Revolutionary Guard.