TEHRAN, Iran — Two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed by unidentified gunmen in the southeastern city of Zahedan on Tuesday, the Tasnim news agency said.
“Colonel Mehdi Molashahi and Javad Kikha, Guards members in Sistan-Baluchistan province, were shot dead by unknown assailants in the city of Zahedan,” the agency said.
The Iranian authorities were investigating those behind the attack, Tasnim added without elaborating.
The attack comes less than a month after clashes left dozens of people dead in Zahedan, the capital of the Sistan-Baluchistan province, which borders Pakistan.
State media characterized the unrest that started on September 30 after Friday prayers as attacks by “extremists” on police stations in the provincial capital.
But a local religious leader — who had warned the community was “inflamed” over the alleged rape of a teenage girl by a police officer — said the force had shot at “civilians” and that one man who had a weapon had fired back.
On Friday, hundreds of people took to the streets of Zahedan and shouted slogans against the authorities, according to videos posted on social media.
The police reported the arrest of 57 “rioters” after this demonstration, according to state news agency IRNA.
On Day 36 of #IranProtests, the people of Zahedan commemorated the innocent Baluch martyrs of the nationwide uprising by chants of “Death to Khamenei” and “my life for #Iran.” The regime’s crimes have fueled the public’s rage, burning the roots of the ruling mullahs forever. pic.twitter.com/Jdk450YeqJ
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) October 21, 2022
Zahedan is one of the few Sunni-majority cities in predominantly Shiite Iran.
Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchestan, which also borders Afghanistan, is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups.