Iranian border guards still in Pakistani custody

AP News
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Posted: Jan 02, 2012 9:45 AM
Iranian border guards still in Pakistani custody

Pakistani authorities have yet to decide what to do with three Iranian border guards who they say crossed into southwestern Pakistan while chasing after smugglers and killed one them, a government official said Monday.

The incident occurred Sunday in the Mazah Sar area of Baluchistan province, a desolate, unpopulated region where the border is not clearly marked.

Aalam Farez, a senior government official in Washuk district, where Mazah Sar is located, said the Iranians admitted to inadvertently crossing into Pakistan. But, he said, they claimed the two people they shot _ one of whom died _ were bystanders and that the people they were chasing escaped.

After the shooting, Pakistani border personnel chased the Iranians back across the border and detained them, Pakistani officials have said. They also seized the surviving gunshot victim and determined both of those who had been shot were petty smugglers.

Farez said he was waiting to hear from Baluchistan's provincial government about what to do with the Iranians.

Iran has not publicly commented on the incident.

Naseebullah Bazai, the top government official in the province, said he has ordered an investigation.

"The Iranians will remain in our custody as long as the probe is done," he told The Associated Press.