12 people kidnapped in lawless southeastern Iran

The 12 people were snatched on the road between Chabahar port and Iranshahr town, some 1,700 kilometers (1056 miles) southeast of Tehran in Sistan-Baluchistan province, bordering Pakistan.

The kidnap victims were taken to Pakistan by "terrorist-supported armed bandits," added the television report, saying that authorities were on the case.

Semi-official Iranian news agencies earlier said that 30 people had been taken in the incident.

Last week two Belgian tourists were briefly kidnapped, also by what the state described as bandits. The region is a conduit for drugs coming from Afghanistan and often witnesses clashes between police and smugglers.

A Sunni Muslim militant group called Jundallah, or God's Brigade, which has been blamed in the past for attacks on the majority-Shiite government forces, is also active in the area.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova