CAIRO, Egypt – An Iranian militant group said Friday that it has executed two Iranian police officers that it abducted about a week ago and threatened to kill 14 others unless the government released its imprisoned members.
A spokesman for the Sunni Muslim Jundallah group, Abdel-Raouf, told Al-Arabiya television that they killed the two men Tuesday because the Shiite Iranian government executed two members of the group the day before.
He vowed that Jundallah will kill the remaining 14 abducted policemen unless the Iranian government released 200 members of the group from detention by next Friday.
"We found out that the Iranian government is not ready to talk. Therefore we executed two officers," Abdel-Raouf told the pan-Arab television network.
Al-Arabiya aired video footage showing two men in police uniform who were blindfolded and kneeling in front of a masked gunman reading a written statement. The network did not air the entire video, which it said included the shooting of the two men.
Earlier Friday, Al-Arabiya aired a separate video showing the 16 abducted policemen in their uniforms kneeling before the camera in a mountainous area with tears in their eyes.
Jundallah kidnapped the policemen last Saturday after Pakistan handed over four senior members of the group to the Iranian government.
On Tuesday, the semiofficial FARS news agency said the Iranian government executed two members of Jundallah in southeastern Iran.
Abdel-Raouf said the detained members of Jundallah that the group wants released are inhabitants of Baluchistan, some 1,600,990 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran.
The area, near Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a key crossing point for narcotics and often sees clashes between police and drug gangs. It is also home to a large number of Iran's minority Sunni Muslims.
The Jundallah group, or God's Soldiers, is active in southeastern Iran and has been blamed for past attacks on Iranian troops there.
The militant group claimed responsibility last year for killing 11 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in southeastern Iran.