Three Iranian border guards have been killed during clashes with members of a terrorist group in the country’s northwestern province of West Azarbaijan and on the border with Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
The official news agency IRNA reported that the guards lost their lives in a gunfight that took place at a border post near the city of Sardasht, located some 730 kilometers (453 miles) west of the capital, on Friday.
The report added that a number of armed assailants were killed in the process as well.
Even though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, border posts in the area have come under attack in the past by members of the so-called Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) terrorist group – an offshoot of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
Over the past years, Iranian security forces and border guards have engaged in clashes with foreign-backed terror groups, many of whom cross the country’s borders with Pakistan and Iraq to carry out attacks.
Back on June 24 last year, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced that its forces had dismantled a four-member gang of terrorists in West Azarbaijan province.
The IRGC’s Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada Base said in a statement at the time that the terrorist group was disbanded during skirmishes in Chaldoran region.
It added that the IRGC forces managed to kill one terrorist, and injure two others. The last member of the gang was captured as well.
A considerable amount of weapons, ammunition and telecommunication systems were also confiscated from the terrorists, the statement noted.