Page last updated at 00:52 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Pakistan holds Iran border guards

A scene depicting the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Baluchistan area of Pakistan/Afghanistan (Archive)
The "security officials" were detained a few miles within Pakistan's border

Pakistan has detained 11 Iranian "security officers" on its border after giving chase to some smugglers.

Earlier, local officials had said they were members of the elite Revolutionary Guards force, but later reports made no reference to this.

The Iranians were detained near Mashkel district, after shooting out the tyres of the smuggler's car, reports say.

Iranian state TV says some of the men were "border guards hunting smugglers who had accidently entered Pakistan."

A Pakistani security official said the Iranians were arrested about four miles (seven km) from the border with Iran.

Pakistan officials said the detainees had been travelling in two cars without travel documents.

The Iranian official state news agency interviewed the commander of Sistan-Baluichstan's border guards, who says eight of his personnel were detained.

General Gholam-Nabi Kuhkan said: "Pakistani local security forces arrived [at the scene] and arrested the [Iranian] police members as well as three smugglers.

"Pakistan's police have contacted [Iran]... saying they could not distinguish the police from the smugglers... and had to arrest them all.

"Final arrangements are being made to release the police personnel," he added.

The arrests come just over a week since a suicide bomb killed 42 people, among them six Revolutionary Guard commanders, in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Iran said a Sunni militant group had launched the attack from Pakistan. Islamabad denied any involvement.

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