Ira­nian forces clash with Kurds, killing five

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

TEHRAN—Ira­nian se­cu­rity forces have clashed with Kur­dish sep­a­ratists who in­fil­trated a north­west­ern vil­lage, killing five of them, ac­cord­ing to the coun­try’s pow­er­ful Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard.

The Guard’s web­site said five “ter­ror­ists,” in­clud­ing two “lead­ers,” were killed in the fight­ing in the West Azer­bai­jan prov­ince, near the Iraqi bor­der, and that a “chase op­er­a­tion to de­stroy other ter­ror­ists is un­der­way.”

It said no Ira­nian forces were wounded in the clashes, and that they con­fis­cated large amounts of weapons and am­mu­ni­tion. The Kur­dish group could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment. The Guard clashed with Kur­dish in­sur­gents in West Azer­bai­jan ear­lier this month.

The Guard said it killed 12 in­sur­gents while three of its mem­bers died. The Demo­cratic Party of Ira­nian Kur­dis­tan said the Kurds killed over a dozen Guard mem­bers, in­clud­ing a colonel. Iran faces threats from sev­eral mil­i­tant groups, rang­ing from Sunni Arabs in its south­ern, oil-rich re­gion, Kurds in its north­west and Baluch sepa- ratists on its east­ern bor­der with Pak­istan. At­tacks are rarely pub­li­cized in Iran, but last week au­thor­i­ties an­nounced that they had bro­ken up one of the “biggest ter­ror­ist plots” ever on Ira­nian soil by Sunni ex­trem­ists plan­ning bomb­ings in Tehran and else­where.

In­tel­li­gence Min­is­ter Mah­moud Alavi was later quoted by the semi-of­fi­cial ISNA news agency as say­ing that 10 sus­pects had been ar­rested in con­nec­tion to the plot, which was to in­volve 50 bomb­ings in the cap­i­tal.—Agen­cies

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