Iranian military frees civilian hostage in Afghanistan


KABUL: Iran’s Commander of the IRGC Ground Force’s Quds Base General Mohammad Marani said on Sunday that the mission to free an Iranian national on Afghan soil had been successful, Iranian News Agency Tasnim reported.

The report said that Hossein Hajmalek, an engineer working for Jahad Nasr company, a contractor cooperating with the IRGC, was kidnapped on a route between the eastern cities of Hamoon and Zabol on December 14 on his way back home.

Kidnappers took the Iranian engineer to Afghanistan, Marani added, saying his burnt-out car was found in a village in the Afghan province of Nimruz two days later.

According to the hostage’s father asked the IRGC Quds Base for help after the kidnappers demanded ransom and threatened to kill the hostage.

The IRGC fighters launched a special operation following intelligence activities and coordination with the authorities and freed Hajmalek on December 24, he added.

He also noted that five people have been arrested inside Iran in connection with the hostage-taking.

In the meantime, Mohammad Sami Tasal, governor of Nimroz province, has rejected Marani’s claim over freeing of an Iranian national on Afghan soil.

“The Afghan border forces are not allowing anybody to launch operations on Afghan soil,” Tasal said, adding that: “No hostage was brought into Nimruz province and no operation has been launched in the province.”