DUBAI: Militants, who had kidnapped five Iranian border guards in February, claimed that they had killed one of the hostage soldiers, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Monday.
It identified the victim as Jamshid Danaeefar, shown sitting against a mud wall in an unidentified location with the other four captives in a grainy photo apparently taken by their captors.
Fars, quoting an “informed source”, said the four other hostages were in good health, without giving further details.
The guards were seized while patrolling the lawless frontier with Pakistan in early February. Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), an Iranian rebel group in Sistan-Baluchistan province later claimed responsibility. The group said on its website on Sunday that it had killed the border guard.
Neither Tehran nor Islamabad could immediately confirm the report.
Pakistani authorities said on Monday they were still investigating.
Sistan-Baluchistan an impoverished province bordering Pakistan, is host to a small group of rebels who are against the government in Tehran. The lawless province is also used by drugs and arms traffickers.
Iran had initially accused that the guards had been taken into Pakistan. The claim was refuted by Pakistan and subsequent raids by Pakistani officials found no sign of them.
The kidnapping further inflamed tension between Tehran and Islamabad over sectarian violence. Iran accuses Pakistan of supporting the rebels.