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Elite Paramilitary Guards Killed in Iran Clash: State News


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

Iran’s IRNA news agency reported that an attack by armed separatists on a police station in a southeastern city killed 19 people, including four members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Iran’s elite Islamic network.

According to reports, the attackers in Friday’s attack hid among worshipers near a mosque in the city of Zahedan and attacked a nearby police station.

IRNA quoted provincial governor Hossein Modaresi as saying 19 people had been killed. The agency said 32 members of the Guard, including the Basiji volunteer force, were also injured in the clashes.

It remains unclear whether the attack is related to the nationwide anti-government protests that are taking place across Iran following the death of a young Iranian woman.

Sistan and Baluchestan province border Afghanistan and Pakistan and have seen previous attacks on security forces by ethnic Baluchi separatists, although Saturday’s Tasnim report did not identify a separatist group believed to be involved in the attack.

IRNA on Saturday identified the dead as Hamidreza Hashemi, a Revolutionary Guard colonel; Mohammad Amin Azarshokr, member of the Guard; Mohamad Amin Arefi, a Basiji, or volunteer force with the IRG; and Saeed Borhan Rigi, also a Basiji.

Tasnim and other Iranian state news agencies reported on Friday that the head of the intelligence department of the Guards, Seyyed Ali Mousavi, was shot in the attack and later died.

It is not uncommon for IRG members to be present at police bases around the country.

Police chief General Hossein Salami said the Revolutionary Guards would avenge the killing of their forces in Zahedan. “We consider revenge with the blood of IRGC and Basiji martyrs as well as those who were victims of Black Friday crimes in Zahedan to be on our agenda,” IRNA reported.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in the past two weeks to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who has been detained by ethics police in the capital Tehran for allegedly wearing the mandatory Muslim headscarf of her she is too loose. .

Protesters have vented their anger about the treatment of women and wider repression in the Islamic Republic. The nationwide protests quickly escalated into calls to overthrow the clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The protests have drawn supporters from a variety of ethnic groups, including Kurdish opposition movements in the northwest that operate along the border with neighboring Iraq. Amini is an Iranian Kurd and protests first broke out in Kurdish areas.

Iranian state television has reported that at least 41 protesters and policemen have been killed since the protests began on September 17. Several official Associated Press reports by authorities showed at least 14 deaths, with more than 1,500 protesters arrested.

Also on Friday, Iran said it had arrested nine foreigners in connection with the protests, which authorities have blamed on hostile foreign entities, without providing evidence.

It is difficult to gauge the extent of the protests, especially outside of Tehran. Iranian media only sporadically reported on the protests.

Witnesses said scattered protests involving dozens of protesters took place on Saturday around a university in downtown Tehran. Riot police dispersed protesters, who chanted “death to the dictator.” Several witnesses said police fired tear gas.

Meanwhile, Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi reminded Iran’s armed forces of their duty to the life and rights of the people, the foreign-based opposition Telegram channel Kaleme reported. .

Mousavi’s Green Movement challenged Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election amid unrest on a level not seen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution before being crushed by the authorities.

“Clearly your ability has been given to you to protect the people, not the oppressors, protect the oppressed, not serve the powerful and the oppressors,” he said. speak.

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