Two Azerbaijani border guards killed in Iran border shootout

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Two Azerbaijani border guards were killed Saturday in a shootout with unidentified assailants on the border with Iran, officials said, adding that 10 kilograms of drugs had been found at the scene.

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“Three unidentified persons violated the state border with Iran near the Goytepe checkpoint,” in Azerbaijan’s southeast, the ex-Soviet republic’s state border service said in a statement.

“The infiltrators opened fire, fatally wounding two border guards who died in a hospital later,” the service said, adding that one of the attackers was arrested.

The border service said 10 kilograms of drugs had been found at the scene.

Azerbaijan lies on a major drug smuggling route from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe and Russia, according to the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US Department of State.

Azerbaijan has in the past reported numerous incidents involving drug traffickers attempting to cross over from Iran.

Last October an Azerbaijani border guard was killed and another wounded by armed drug smugglers on the border with Iran.

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