Eight Iranian border guards killed in clashes with militants

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Officials say guards clashed with 'terrorists' in Iran's Azarbaijan province that borders both Iraq and Turkey

File photo of members of the Iranian revolutionary guard at parade in Tehran, 22 September (Reuters)
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Friday 3 November 2017 22:47 UTC
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Eight Iranian border guards were killed on Friday in clashes with a group of militants in the country's northwestern Azarbaijan province that borders both Iraq and Turkey, Iran's state TV said.

"At Least eight Iranian guards were killed in heavy clashes between Iran's border guards and a group of terrorists in the Chaldoran border area on Friday," said Alireza Radfar, the deputy governor general of the province.

"The terrorists sustained heavy losses during the clashes which are still ongoing on the border with Turkey."

The Chaldoran border, around 860 km northwest of the capital Tehran, is near neighbouring Turkey and Iraq.

Clashes with Iranian Kurdish militant groups as well as rebels linked to al-Qaeda are common in the area.

On 7 June, the Islamic State (IS) group attacked parliament in Tehran and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, killing at least 18 people. All of the attackers were Iranian Kurds.

Since the IS attack, official media regularly report the dismantling of militant cells reported to be planning attacks on Iranian territory.

On 12 June, Iranian security forces said they killed four IS suspects, including two foreigners, in the southern province of Hormuzgan and seized explosives, guns and the group's flag.

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of funding hardline Sunni militants, including IS. In the wake of the June attack, Tehran pointed the finger at the Saudi government.

Riyadh has said it is fighting terrorism and denied involvement in the attacks.