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Iran says militiaman shot dead on way to work in Isfahan

Revolutionary Guard accuses ‘mercenaries of the global arrogance’ of killing Basij member, less than a week after blaming Israel for an officer’s death in Damascus

Basij paramilitary force members march during the annual pro-Palestinian Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, Day rally as they cover their faces in the style of Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Basij paramilitary force members march during the annual pro-Palestinian Al-Quds, or Jerusalem, Day rally as they cover their faces in the style of Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists in Tehran, Iran, April 29, 2022. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps militia was shot dead Monday in the central city of Isfahan, the Guards said, as the Islamic Republic has been gripped by more than two months of protest.

According to the semiofficial Fars news agency, Reza Dastani, a member of the Basij militia, was “martyred” while on his way to work. The term is typically a designation given to those on important assignments.

An investigation is underway to identify the perpetrators of the attack, said deputy local governor Mohammad-Reza Jannessari, the IRNA news agency reported.

The IRGC said in a statement the man was killed in “a terrorist action carried out by mercenaries of the global arrogance,” a term used for the United States and its allies.

The Basij is a paramilitary militia linked to the IRGC, the ideological arm of Iran’s military.

In mid-November in Isfahan, two assailants on a motorcycle fired automatic weapons at security guards, killing a police colonel and two paramilitaries.

Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police, in Tehran, October 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Middle East Images, File)

Iran has been rocked by a wave of protests since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd arrested by morality police for violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

Dozens of people, mainly protesters but also members of the security forces, have been killed since, according to the authorities.

Dastani’s death comes a week after the killing of Colonel Davoud Jafari, an adviser from the IRGC’s aerospace division, along with his Syrian guard when a roadside bomb struck their car in the southern Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab.

The IRGC blamed Israel on Wednesday, claiming Jafari was “martyred by the Zionist agents,” and vowed their regional rival will answer for the “crime.”

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