Iranian forces clash with Kurds, killing five

Turkish Kurdish women hold a banner that reads “Iran should end executions” as they protest against Iran outside the Iranian embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. (AP)

Iranian security forces have clashed with Kurdish separatists who infiltrated a northwestern village, killing five of them, according to the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

The Guard’s website said five “terrorists,” including two “leaders,” were killed in the fighting in the West Azerbaijan province, near the Iraqi border, and that a “chase operation to destroy other terrorists is underway.”

It said no Iranian forces were wounded in the clashes, and that they confiscated large amounts of weapons and ammunition.

The Kurdish group could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Guard clashed with Kurdish insurgents in West Azerbaijan earlier this month. The Guard said it killed 12 insurgents while three of its members died. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan said the Kurds killed over a dozen Guard members, including a colonel.

Iran faces threats from several militant groups, ranging from Sunni Arabs in its southern, oil-rich region, Kurds in its northwest and Baluch separatists on its eastern border with Pakistan.

Attacks are rarely publicized in Iran, but last week authorities announced that they had broken up one of the “biggest terrorist plots” ever on Iranian soil by Sunni extremists planning bombings in Tehran and elsewhere.

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi was later quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying that 10 suspects had been arrested in connection to the plot, which was to involve 50 bombings in the capital.

A Sunni Arab group claimed an attack on an oil pipeline in southern Iran last week, while Iranian forces battled the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl in the southeast, according to Stratfor, a private intelligence firm based in Austin, Texas.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51