Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kidnapped Iran Soldiers 'On Video'

Arabic-language network Al Arabiya has aired video of what it said were Iranian soldiers recently kidnapped near the Iran-Pakistan border. It also read a statement on Wednesday it said was from a Sunni militant group threatening to kill the soldiers if their demands are not met. READ MORE

The authenticity of the video and the statement cannot be independently verified by CNN.

Al Arabiya said the statement from the Organization of God's Soldiers for Sunni Mujahedeen demanded the release of 16 imprisoned fellow militants in exchange for the soldiers.

Iran's government confirmed Sunday that nine Iranian border guards had been kidnapped and taken across the border into Pakistan, although it was not clear when they were abducted.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam denied the abducted soldiers were in Pakistan.

Iran's government confirmed the demands of the Sunni Muslim group, but did not identify the group as the kidnappers.

The short video aired by Al Arabiya showed four of the men dressed in what appeared to be soldiers' uniforms, reading their names.

Journalist Shirzad Bozorgmehr in Tehran contributed to this report.