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Pakistan arrests 12 Iranians for illegal infiltration: officials

Pakistani authorities have arrested 12 Iranians for illegally crossing the border and they were undergoing interrogation on Monday, officials said.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2009 21:22 IST

Pakistani authorities have arrested 12 Iranians for illegally crossing the border and they were undergoing interrogation on Monday, officials said.

"There are 12 Iranians who have been arrested along with two vehicles," Baluchistan provincial home secretary Mohammad Akbar Durrani told AFP.

"They are being interrogated," Durrani said declining to give any details on the possible identities of the men.

"We informed the Foreign Office about the arrests," he added.

A border official said 11 Iranian Revolutionary Guards were arrested after they crossed the border into Pakistan, but he spoke on condition of anonymity and there was no other confirmation.

A paramilitary spokesman said only that "some Iranians" who intruded four kilometres (2.4 miles) into Pakistani territory were arrested at Mashkail, some 400 kilometres (240 miles) west of Quetta.

Iran says those behind a October 18 attack that killed 42 people, including 15 of its elite Revolutionary Guards, sneaked across the Pakistan border.

On Monday, Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari once again ramped up pressure on Islamabad to hand over Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of the Sunni rebel group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) who Tehran says is based in Pakistan.

"We are expecting this (Pakistani) government to cooperate with Iran in apprehending this guy (Rigi)," he said, adding that Islamabad was under the "influence and pressure of America."

Islamabad has strongly denied that the Jundallah attack was launched from its territory.