Sunday, June 20, 2010

Iran hangs leader of sunni rebel movement in Baluchistan

The leader of a Sunni militant group has been executed in Iran for his involvement in "terrorist" attacks in the Islamic state, state media report. Abdolmalek Rigi, head of Jundallah, was hanged at dawn at Tehran's Evin prison in the presence of the families of its victims, the Irna news agency said.
Mr Rigi was accused of being behind a series of deadly bombings and raids in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan.He was arrested in February while on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.
Founded in 2003, Jundullah (Soldiers of God) says it is fighting to defend the human rights, culture and faith of ethnic Baluchis.The majority of Iran's ethnic Baluchi population live in Sistan-Baluchistan and adhere to the Sunni branch of Islam. They claim that as a minority in a Shia state, they are persecuted by the authorities.
Jundullah has said it was responsible for a string of high-profile attacks in Sistan-Baluchistan, including a suicide bombing near the Pakistani border that killed 42 people, including six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders, and a bombing in a Shia mosque in Zahedan that killed 25 people.
Mr Rigi's younger brother, Abdolhamid, was captured in Pakistan in 2008 and extradited to Iran. State media reported that he was executed last month in Zahedan after being convicted of terrorism.

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