Originally published on October 26, 2013
At least 17 Iranian guards were killed in clashes with gunmen at the Pakistani border the border with Pakistan on Friday night, Reuters reported.
According to local reports, the shooting took place in Baluchestan, when a group of armed people tried to enter the border from Pakistan in the direction of Saravan city.
At least seventeen guards were killed at shooting range while other five were injured and four were taken hostage.
On Saturday morning, in response to the attack, Iran executed 16 rebels, in the country's Sistan-Baluchestan province, Al Jazeera English reported.
Iran's official news agency, IRNA blamed the attack on a terror group opposed to the regime.
The group, known as Jaish Ul Adl (Party of Justice) is, according to Al Jazeera, a relative new group is anti-Shia and the Iranian government had in the past pressured the Pakistani government to crack down on the group's activities.
According to Reuters, the area where the shooting took place has a history of unrest, with the mainly Sunni Muslim population complaining of discrimination at the hands of Iran's Shi'ite Muslim authorities.
Iran also lies on a major drug trafficking route between Afghanistan and Europe, and it's not the first time that security forces have fought drug traffickers in the border region with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In October last year three Iranian guards were killed in clashes with armed drug traffickers in the Koshtegan region, also near the border with Pakistan.
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