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Militant group frees abducted Iran border guards

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A semi-official Iranian news agency is reporting that an al-Qaida-affiliated militant group operating in a lawless frontier area along the Pakistan-Iran border has released Iranian border guards abducted two months ago.

Friday's report by the Fars news agency quotes an unnamed official as saying the guards were handed over to Iranian officials in Pakistan. It did not elaborate. In February, the Jaish al-Adl group abducted five Iranian guards outside Sarbaz, a town in Iran's restive Sistan-Baluchistan province near the border with Pakistan. The guards were reportedly taken to Pakistan.

A local official said last month that one of those abducted was killed. Also in March, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani phoned Pakistan's Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif asking for "serious action" to free the guards.

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