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Iran says suspected IS militants arrested after deadly border clashes

Three members of Revolutionary Guards and three Islamic State group militants were killed in clashes
Islamic State group symbol in Iraq, where small pockets of militants are being rooted out (AFP)

Three members of the Revolutionary Guards and three Islamic State (IS) group militants were killed in clashes in the west of Iran on Saturday, a top Guards’ commander said, according to Tasnim news agency.

A team of 21 IS militants were tracked after they crossed Iran’s western border before being attacked by the Guards, the most powerful military force in the Islamic Republic, according to Sepah News, the Guards’ official news site.

General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, said 16 militants were arrested and two fled but were now surrounded, Tasnim agency reported.

Iran is one of the main international backers of the Syrian government and has sent military advisers and thousands of "volunteers" to battle IS in both Syria and Iraq.

Last June, IS claimed responsibility for two attacks on Iran's parliament and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that killed 17 people and wounded dozens.

Afterwards, Iran tracked down and killed several suspected militants, and over the past few months authorities have announced the arrest of dozens of IS suspects in several regions.

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