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September 18, 2014

Mystery of Iranian rebel’s murder in Quetta resolved

September 18, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The mystery surrounding the murder of Abdul Rauf Rigi, the chief of an Iranian rebel group, who was shot dead along with his nephew in Quetta on August 28, 2014, has been solved after Rigi’s followers tracked down and killed the alleged assassin who they say was an Iranian Baloch Sunni, writes Amir Mir.
Abdul Rauf Rigi and his nephew Abu Bakar Rigi were killed by an unknown attacker at their hideout in Quetta. The mysterious murder had raised serious question marks over Islamabad’s anti-terrorism resolve because Rigi had been arrested by Pakistani agencies in December 2010, and he was supposed to be handed over to the Iranian authorities. Rigi was the foundi
chief of an Iranian insurgent group - Jaishul Nasr—which he had launched early this year after discarding another Iranian militant group—Jaishul Adal – which had kidnapped five Iranian border guards on February 6, 2014, close to the Pak-Iran border of Sistan and Balochistan. Abdul Rauf Rigi had succeeded his elder brother Abdul Malak Rigi as the Jundallah chief after his arrest and execution in Iran in 2010 on terrorism charges.
Jundallah, Jaishul Adal and Jaishul Nasr are Balochi insurgent groups that operate in the Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran and have substantial presence in the Pak-Iran border belt of Balochistan. Interestingly, Abdul Rauf Rigi was arrested by the Pakistani security agencies on December 22, 2010, and the Iranian government had demanded his custody on December 25, 2010, while welcoming his capture, saying: “Abdul Rauf Rigi’s arrest reflects the decisive resolve of the Pakistan government to confront terrorism. The then Iranian President Ahmadinejad subsequently phoned President Zardari, calling for Rigi’s extradition. Zardari assured that his government would not withhold any help in uprooting terrorism. But his killing in Quetta made it clear that Rigi was never handed over to Iran, rather he was set free.
But Iran’s Press TV has now

reported that the Jaishul Nasr has announced having executed Rigi’s assassin - Ibrahim Mehrnahad - an Iranian Baloch Sunni activist who had spent three years in a jail in Iran’s southeastern city of Kerman. Ibrahim’s brother, Yaghub Mehrnahad, who was also an Iranian Baloch Sunni activist, had been executed in Iran over terrorism charges in February 2008. Yaghub used to run Anjuman-e-Sidayeh-e-Adalat (voice of justice association). The Jaishul Nasr has also released footage of Ibrahim Mehrnahad’s confessions wherein he has claimed having worked for Iranian intelligence. He was executed shortly afterwards at an unknown place, most probably somewhere in Balochistan.
However, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry spokesman Hossein Ali Amiri has rejected Jaishul Adal’s claim that the killer of Rauf Rigi was working for the Iranian intelligence agency. “Abdul Rauf Rigi was killed as a result of internal disputes between Jaishul Nasr and Jaishul Adal [led by Zahir Baloch]. In fact, it was the February 2014 kidnapping of five Iranian border security guards by Jaishul Adal from the Pak-Iran border of Sistan and Balochistan and the subsequent murder of one of them (Danaeifar) which led to a split in the group, thus prompting Abdul Rauf Rigi to launch his own outfit with the name of Jaishul Nasr.
Abdul Rauf Rigi had succeeded his elder brother Abdul Malek Rigi as the Jundallah chief following his arrest and execution in Iran. Rigi was captured in February 2010 in a dramatic operation by the Iranian authorities while he was spotted on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan. The Iranian warplanes forced the commercial aircraft to land in Iran. It is widely believed that the “Get Rigi” operation could not have been possible without help from the Pakistani agencies which had passed on vital information about his travel plans as soon as he had left an American military base in Afghanistan after holding a clandestine meeting with the NATO military chief there. After a quick trial, Abdul Malek Rigi was sent to the gallows in Tehran on terrorism charges on June 20, 2010.

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