Rebels kidnap Iran's fencing champion Hamed Sedaqati
Tehran, May 3 (IANS): Iran’s fencing champion Hamed Sedaqati has been abducted in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran, media reported Saturday.
Sedaqati and two of his friends were driving on Khash-Iranshahr road to the provincial capital city of Zahedan Friday when they came under attack by unknown assailants, Xinhua reported citing the semi-official Fars news agency.
Sedaqati and one of his friends were abducted, while the other friend of his was killed by the assailants, according to local officials. Investigations are under-way.
Hamed Sedaqati finished in third place at the Asian Championship in 2006.
In February, the Pakistan-based Jaish Al-Adl Sunni rebel group from Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province abducted five border guards. They killed one of them in March and released the other four in April.
The group has also claimed responsibility for a deadly attack last October in a mountainous area near Saravan city, also in Sistan and Baluchestan province, that borders Pakistan. At least 14 border guards were killed in that attack. The group said it was fighting for the rights of the Sunni Baluch minority in Iran.
Sistan and Baluchestan province, mostly populated by Sunni Muslims, has been the scene of bloody clashes between the Sunni rebels and the Iranian security forces.