Iran says four Guards killed in clash in southeast

A group of Iranian border guards. Iran, on July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

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SULAIMANI — Four members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were killed during a clash with "bandits" in the country's southeast border region, the official IRNA news agency said on Saturday (July 24).

The four were killed on Friday evening "during a clash with bandits in the Khash region in Sistan-Baluchistan" province, IRNA said, citing a Guards statement.

It did not identify either the "bandits" or the nature of the clash.

Sistan-Baluchistan straddles the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is home to a large, mainly SunniMuslim ethnic Baluch community in a country where most of the population is Shiite.

The area has long been a flashpoint for cross-border attacks by separatists and Sunni extremists, and clashes between security forces and armed groups are common.

In April, the Guards announced they had killed three "terrorists" during an operation in the province.

In February, Iranian media said two people including a police officer were killed in violence in the area linked to cross-border fuel smuggling.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)