Masked gunmen kill local commander of Iran’s security forces

Two shooters armed with rifles fire at Abdolhossein Mojaddami, head of Basij paramilitary forces in the town of Darkhoein and an associate of slain general Soleimani

In this Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 photo released by the Tasnim News Agency, members of the Basij, the paramilitary unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, gather around a replica of Jerusalem's gold-topped Dome of the Rock mosque as one of them waves an Iranian flag from atop the dome during a military exercise. (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency, Mahmoud Hosseini)
Illustrative: Members of the Basij, the paramilitary unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, gather around a replica of Jerusalem's gold-topped Dome of the Rock mosque during a military exercise, Nov. 20, 2015 (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency, Mahmoud Hosseini)

TEHRAN, Iran — Masked gunmen on Wednesday ambushed and killed the local commander of a paramilitary security force in southwestern Iran, an associate of Iran’s top general recently killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The slain commander, Abdolhossein Mojaddami, headed the Basij forces, a paramilitary wing of the Revolutionary Guard used for internal security and other tasks, in the town of Darkhoein. He was gunned down in front of his home in the town in the country’s oil rich Khuzestan province.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle, armed with an assault rifle and a hunting rifle, ambushed Mojaddami, IRNA reported. Other Iranian media said the gunmen’s faces were covered with masks and that four shots were fired.

The case is under investigation and a motive was not immediately clear, but Basij units had been involved in violent clashes with demonstrators in the area in November in which many protesters were injured and killed.

Amnesty International has reported that more than 300 people were killed in the unrest across the country, though Iran has not announced a death toll.

Mojaddami’s killing is seen another blow to the Revolutionary Guard, following the death of top general Qassem Soleimani earlier this month in a US drone strike in Iraq.

Mojaddami was described by IRNA as an associate of Soleimani, who was the head of the Quds forces, the foreign wing of the Guard.

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