Iran accuses U.S. of being behind kidnapping of Iranian border guards


Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa PourMohammadi on Saturday accused the United States of sponsoring the militants who kidnapped nine Iranian soldiers near the Pakistani border.

"America cannot directly confront Iran and instead uses such groups against it," the minister was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

PourMohammadi said the kidnappers belong to the groups influenced by the ideology of the Taliban. "The kidnappers have been identified. They are demanding money and the release of members of their group," he said.

Nine Iranian soldiers were abducted by Sunni Muslim militants who demanded the authorities set free 16 jailed members, according to a video released by the al-Arabiya TV on Wednesday.

The group, calling itself the "Organization of God's Soldiers for Sunni Mujahideen (Holy Fighters)", had kidnapped the soldiers in a southeastern province bordering with Pakistan, according to al-Arabiya.