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Iran executes Pak-based terror group's chief

Source: PTI
June 20, 2010 14:44 IST
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Iran in Sunday hanged Pakistan-based Jundallah terror group's chief Abdolmalek Rigi, whose outfit was responsible for killing 153 people, including some top Revolutionary Guard commanders.

Rigi's execution comes less than a month after his brother Abdolhamid Rigi was hanged on May 24 on charges on terrorism.

Twenty-six-year-old Rigi was executed early Sunday morning in Tehran's Evin prison upon a ruling issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court, state-run Press TV reported.

Rigi, whose Sunni Baloch group Jundallah (soldiers of God) is closely linked to Taliban and active in Iran's Sistan-Balochistan province bordering Pakistan, was charged with 79 counts of various crimes.

The charges include armed robbery, bombing operations in public places, armed attacks on the army, police personnel, and ordinary civilians, assassination attempts, disrupting regional stability, kidnapping and murder.

Rigi was arrested in February in a dramatic-style when Iranian fighter jets forced a plane carrying him from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, to land in Iran.

A top Sunni cleric, who represents Sistan-Balochistan in the body of Assembly of Experts that supervises the activities of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the people of his province were "very happy" with Rigi's execution, IRNA news agency said.

"The execution of Abdolmalek Rigi is the result of his shameful acts, and other criminals should be aware that if they continue with their outrageous acts against Islam in the country, they will meet the same fate as this criminal," it quoted Nazir Ahmed Salami as saying.

Rigi confessed on state-run TV the crimes committed by his group, acknowledging that his acts were in violation of the Islamic and human regulations. Jundallah leader also alleged that US intelligence promised him assistance.

After pleading guilty to all charges, Rigi appealed for mercy. However, chief of Iran's Judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani rejected the appeal and ordered his execution.

Jundallah, which is based in Pakistan, has carried out several bombings and terrorist attacks in Iran. In a major attack, the group killed 40 people, including several senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards.

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