3 Iranian police killed in clashes with armed group in southeast Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Three members of the Iranian security forces, including a colonel, were killed in clashes with an armed group in the southeast of the country, state news agency IRNA reports.

The police chief of Kerman province, Abdolreza Nazeri, quoted by IRNA, says security forces clashed with “an armed group of bandits” while patrolling an area bordering with Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Three of the security forces were killed and six others wounded in “the confrontation that lasted for almost 24 hours,” he says.

At least two members of the armed group were also killed, IRNA says, adding it has a “long history of evil and instability in the southeastern region,” without naming the group.

IRNA points to illegal activity and smuggling in the area of the clashes.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said in July that four of its members were killed in clashes with “bandits” in the area of Khash in Sistan-Baluchistan.

The province lies on the border with Pakistan and is a flashpoint of clashes between security forces and armed groups.

The clashes often involve smuggling gangs as well as separatists from the Baluchi minority or extremist militant groups.

Members of the security forces have also been kidnapped in the province.

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