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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards kill 6 near Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan tri-junction

File photo of Iranian soldiers marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 (Photo: Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/IANS)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that they killed six “armed bandits” and lost three of their own men from an allied paramilitary force in a shootout in Sistan-Baluchistan–the country’s southeast.

Iran's porous border with Pakistan and Afghanistan is known to be notorious for insurgent groups as well as drug smugglers. The Sistan-Baluchistan province is dominated by Sunni Muslims who have been fighting Iran's Shia-led regime.

The Guards posted on their Sepah News website that clashes took place in Sistan-Baluchistan near a hideout of militants. “Six bandits were killed and five others wounded,” the Sepah News report said.

The three members of the paramilitary force belonged to the Basij–a resistance force under the control of the Guards, reports Dawn newspaper.

The attack by the Revolutionary Guards was in retaliation to the killing of two of their personnel on December 25. The statement by the Guards said that they had “targeted and killed the perpetrators” of the attack that left two of their members dead in the same province.

The Iranian forces have been battling numerous armed groups in the region with significant losses of their own personnel. In one of the biggest attacks, 27 Guards were killed in a suicide attack on their bus in February 2019.

Iran has also been fighting the minority Baloch rebels, who are in a majority in Sistan-Baluchistan. The other major rebel group is the jihadist outfit Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which has carried out several high-profile bombings and abductions.