World News

Iran rebels say they killed two hostages

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Sunni rebel group holding Iranian policemen hostage said in a video it had killed two of the men on Friday and would kill more unless its demands were met, Al Arabiya television reported on Saturday.

The video from Jundollah (God’s Soldiers) aired by the television showed two dead bodies lying outdoors.

The rebels, whom predominantly Shi’ite Iran has linked to al Qaeda, said in June it had killed two of the prisoners, soon after capturing them.

Al Arabiya said Iran had refused to negotiate with the rebel group.

Iran said last month bandits had kidnapped the 16 policemen and taken them to neighbouring Pakistan, after attacking a police station in the volatile province of Sistan-Baluchestan, notorious for clashes between security forces and drug smugglers and home to Iran’s mostly Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchis.

In August 2007, Iran blamed the Jundollah group for the kidnappings of 30 people in the province. Those hostages, taken by their captors to Pakistan, were freed by Pakistani forces.

In 2007, Jundollah claimed responsibility for an attack on a bus carrying Iranian Revolutionary Guards that killed 11 people.

Iranian officials have said that the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi is a leader of al Qaeda’s network in Iran.

Reporting by Summer Said; editing by Andrew Roche