Iranian Kurdish party accuses Iran of killing senior official in Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq — Iran’s oldest Kurdish separatist party, now based in neighboring Iraq, accuses Tehran of murdering one of its leaders.

Mussa Babakhani, a member of the central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), was “assassinated by a terrorist affiliated” with Iran, a statement from the party says.

Tehran refers to the KDPI, which is based in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, as a “terrorist” group.

Babakhani was “kidnapped Thursday by two terrorists and found dead and bearing marks of torture” on Saturday in a hotel room in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, the statement says.

Kurdish security forces have said they are investigating his death.

The KDPI accuses Iran of murdering several of its leaders in recent years. It says Babakhani, born in 1981, joined the party in 1999.

The group was banned after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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