Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Monday that its forces killed three gunmen with links to the United States who tried to infiltrate its territory in the country's far northwest.
"Last night, a counter-revolutionary terrorist group... got caught up in an intelligence web of (Guards) fighters in the Maku public area," the Guards' Sepahnews website reported.
The Guards said the armed group was "affiliated with the global arrogance", a term the Islamic republic uses for its arch enemy the United States.
They said the group had "intended to penetrate deep into our country" but added that all three were killed during clashes.
"Significant quantities of weapons, equipment, ammunition and communication systems were seized."
The Maku area is a slither of land in West Azerbaijan province located less than 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Iran's far northwestern border with Turkey.
Iran's west and northwest areas have seen sporadic clashes between its forces and Kurdish rebels in past years.
On May 29, three Iranian border guards were killed in one such clash with "armed insurgents" in West Azerbaijan province.