NewsSpecial WireIran’s Interior Ministry cannot confirm deaths of insurgents

Iran’s Interior Ministry cannot confirm deaths of insurgents

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Apr. 05 – Iran’s Interior Ministry has sent a statement to state-run press saying that it was unable to confirm the deaths of twelve Iranian dissidents belonging to a group that took responsibility for an armed attack in March on a convoy of government officials in Iran’s south-eastern province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Apr. 05 – Iran’s Interior Ministry has sent a statement to state-run press saying that it was unable to confirm the deaths of twelve Iranian dissidents belonging to a group that took responsibility for an armed attack in March on a convoy of government officials in Iran’s south-eastern province of Sistan-va-Baluchistan.

Earlier on Wednesday, the government-run news agency Fars quoted an unnamed government official as saying that Abdolmalek Reigi, the leader of the group calling itself Jondollah, and 11 members of his group were killed in clashes with security forces on Iran’s border with Afghanistan.

The Interior Ministry statement said that there was no “precise information” for it to be able to confirm the report.

Hundreds of people have been arrested in Iran’s south-eastern province of after the ambush on a government convoy carrying dozens of provincial officials in March.

The majority of those arrested were Baluchis, a predominantly Sunni Muslim ethnic minority, who the authorities have claimed have ties to the attackers.

Twenty-two Iranian government and provincial officials were killed and at least seven, including the governor of the city of Zahedan, were critically wounded in the ambush as their convoy was returning from Zabol to Zahedan in the early hours of March 17. A further seven were taken hostage.

Hours after the attack, Iran’s police chief, Brigadier General Ismaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam, announced there was evidence that the assailants had held meetings with British intelligence officers.

Iran’s Interior Minister also pointed the finger at Britain and the United States for masterminding the attack.

Iran has witnessed escalating unrest in recent months in areas populated by Baluchis, who complain of discriminatory and repressive policies by the theocratic regime.

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