Iran said Tuesday that its security forces have captured the top leader of an armed Sunni group whose acts in the southeast have destabilized the border region with Pakistan. A state TV report quoted Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying that Abdulmalik Rigi was arrested abroad, then taken to Iran. Najjar did not say where Rigi was apprehended, but said, "the intention was to arrest him alive," the report added.
However, lawmaker Mohammad Dehghan told the official IRNA news agency that Rigi was flying over the Persian Gulf en route from Pakistan to an unidentified Arab country when his plane was ordered to land inside Iran.
On its part, state-run Press TV said that Rigi was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.
Rigi's Jundallah group has claimed responsibility for bombing attacks that have killed dozens in recent years, including five senior commanders of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard in October.
Press TV also quoted Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi as saying Tuesday that Rigi was spotted at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his arrest.