Iran says five rebels killed in Kurdish region

AFP , Sunday 26 Jun 2016

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said it killed five armed rebels in recent clashes along its border with Iraqi Kurdistan, state media reported.

A statement from the Guards, published late Saturday by official news agency IRNA, said "five armed rebels linked to counter-revolutionary groups" were killed the night before.

It did not give the name of the rebel group, though a number of separatist Kurdish insurgencies are known to be active in the region.

The commander the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, General Mohammad Pakpour, threatened to target Kurds across the border in northern Iraq.

"Since the main bases of these terrorists are in northern Iraq, if they don't follow through with commitments to stop these attacks, their bases will be targeted where they are," said the Iranian general.

There have been increasing reports of clashes in the northwest after a period of relative calm in the past year or more.

The Guards said on June 16 that similar clashes had led to the death of 12 "terrorists" and three Iranian soldiers in the city of Oshnavieh.

That followed reports that five Kurdish rebels were killed in the region a few days earlier.

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