December 31, 2005

Rebel group captures 9 Iranian soldiers: Arabiya TV

DUBAI (Reuters) - A little-known Sunni rebel organization
says it has abducted nine Iranian soldiers to pressure Tehran
to free imprisoned members of the group, Al Arabiya television
said on Sunday.

A caller speaking for the Jundollah (God's Soldiers) said
the soldiers were seized near Iran's border with Pakistan, and
demanded the release of 16 group members, the satellite
television channel said.

Iranian officials were not immediately available to

In July, the group said it beheaded an Iranian security
agent it had abducted the previous month.

Iran's remote southeastern areas on the border with
Pakistan have seen sporadic unrest involving the Baluchi
minority, and are a major drug trafficking route used by armed

Some 90 percent of Iran's nearly 70 million people are
Shi'ite Muslims. Sunnis among the Kurdish, Turkmen and Baluchi
ethnic minorities have often complained of discrimination.