Two police officers were killed in an armed attack in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan early on Tuesday, state media reported.
The attack occurred in the city of Bampour at 2 a.m. local time when “miscreants” targeted a group of police officers on patrol, state news agency IRNA cited Mohammad Ghanbari, Sistan-Baluchistan’s police chief, as saying.
A third officer was injured in the attack, he added.
A “special team of detectives” has been formed to investigate the attack and arrest those responsible, Ghanbari said.
“With the clues obtained, God willing, they will be arrested in the shortest possible time and sentenced to the most severe punishment.”
Iran’s military has in the past clashed with Sunni militants in Sistan-Baluchistan, which is mostly populated by Sunni ethnic Baluchis, a minority in predominantly Shia Iran. The Baluchi population has faced discrimination and repression for decades, according to human rights groups.
Despite a brutal crackdown by security forces, Sistan-Baluchistan has witnessed anti-regime protests weekly since September, following the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody which sparked nationwide demonstrations in Iran.
The protests, which quickly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, have been met with a violent crackdown from authorities, resulting in the deaths of hundreds and the arrest of thousands, according to human rights groups.