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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 12:17 UK

Journalist hanged in eastern Iran

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Iran has executed a journalist accused of involvement with a Sunni militant group blamed for a spate of attacks in the south-east, officials have said.

Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said Yaqoub Mehrnehad and another man were hanged on Monday in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Mr Mehrnehad was convicted in February of being a member of Jundallah and of "crimes against national security".

He was arrested in Zahedan last year while reporting for a Tehran newspaper.

Reports say the journalist also ran a charity apparently focused on improving childhood education.

Sistan-Baluchistan province, which borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan, has long been affected by smuggling, drug trafficking, banditry and kidnapping. Its population is mainly made-up of the Baluchi ethnic group who are Sunni Muslims.

Jundallah, also known as the Popular Resistance Movement of Iran, says it is fighting against the political and religious oppression of the country's Sunni minority. The government says it is a terrorist group.

In February 2007, Iran hanged a suspected member of Jundallah who was convicted for killing 11 members of the Revolutionary Guards.


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