Middle East

Iran: Five killed in clashes with fighters near Pakistan border

Fighters attempted to seize an Iranian border post, resulting in a gunfight with Iranian soldiers, state media reports.

    At least five people, including two Iranian security forces personnel, have been killed in clashes with fighters in southeastern Iran, near the border with Pakistan, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported.

    The clashes took place in the Mirjaveh district, about 10km west of the Taftan border checkpost, on Tuesday, the news agency said.

    A group of fighters attempted to seize control of an Iranian border post, resulting in an exchange of fire with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) soldiers, IRNA reported.

    At least two soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in that attack, security officials said. Three attackers were also killed.

    The two soldiers who were killed were identified as Vahid Hossein and Abolfazl Gholampour.

    The IRNA news agency quoted security forces as saying that the attackers had come from the Pakistani side of the border.

    Iran and Pakistan have often clashed over security along their roughly 800km-long border, with Iran accusing its eastern neighbour of not doing enough against armed groups such as Jaish-al-Adl that have attacked Iranian security forces in the area.

    On Monday, Iran’s security forces said they had captured more weapons, ammunition and explosives being smuggled into the country through the border with Pakistan.

    In April last year, at least 10 Iranian security forces personnel were killed in an attack by Jaish al-Adl on the border with Pakistan.

    The attacks have centred on Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which has long been plagued by violence related to drug smuggling gangs and separatist fighters.

    Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited the Pakistani capital Islamabad, with the subject of increased cooperation on border security high on the agenda, according to a statement released by the Pakistani Foreign Office following the visit.

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