Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced that the country's security forces have arrested three terrorists behind the assassination of pro-government Sunni cleric Molavi Abdulvahed Rigi in Southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan.
The intelligence ministry announced in a statement on Tuesday that the apprehension took place following “round-the-clock efforts and a series of intelligence measures and observations” in Sistan and Baluchestan, and with the “operational cooperation of the law enforcement command” in the province.
“These terrorist elements were planning to abscond from the country after the assassination of the martyr when they were arrested” by the intelligence forces, the statement noted.
Intelligence officials say those who assassinated the cleric are linked to an Arab country. They added the attackers plotted to kill another person after dust cleared in the wake of Molavi Abdolvahed Rigi’s assassination.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry added further information regarding the case will subsequently be released.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has offered condolences to the people of Sistan and Baluchestan province on the martyrdom of the senior Sunni cleric by terrorists, calling on officials to quickly bring those behind the assassination to justice.
The provincial officials confirmed on Friday that the senior cleric had been kidnapped and murdered by unknown individuals as the police investigated the case.
The Sunni cleric was the Friday prayers leader of Imam Hussein Mosque in Khash city. He was famous for holding views strongly in opposition to those of contraversial Sunni Friday prayers of Zahedan, Molawi Abdolhamid.
Mehdi Shamsabadi, the province’s prosecutor, said the cleric was present at his mosque on Thursday, but unknown individuals called him from the rear door, making him sit in a car that had no license plate.
Shamsabadi noted local forces had been mobilized to find the whereabouts of the cleric since Thursday, but his dead body was found on the roadside in Khash County. The cleric was hit by three bullets, said the prosecutor, adding the bullets came out of his head.
Late in September, Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province which is home to Iran’s Baluch minority, saw an attack on a police station and a mosque. Terrorists launched attacks on several police stations and public places in Zahedan after congregational prayers in the city, killing more than 24 people, including security forces and people, and injuring over 20 others.