4 Iran security force members killed in attack

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A ‘terrorist’ attack killed four members of Iran’s security forces in a southeastern region beset by anti-government protests as well as extremist and criminal unrest, official media reported on Monday.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members were killed “during a terrorist act” in the Saravan region of Sistan-Baluchistan province near the Pakistani border, the state IRNA news agency said.

The region is one of Iran’s poorest and is home to the Balochi minority, who adhere to Sunni Islam rather than the Shiite branch predominant in Iran.

Earlier this month a cleric was killed after being kidnapped from his mosque in Khash, a town in Sistan-Baluchistan.

A chief prosecutor said last week that the killers of cleric Abdulwahed Rigi had been arrested before trying to cross the border, and accused them of seeking to stir trouble between Sunnis and Shiites.

Violence erupted in the provincial capital Zahedan on September 30 and authorities said six members of the security forces were among the dozens of people killed.

In violence elsewhere in Iran, IRNA reported on Monday that four Shiite clergy were wounded by unknown assailants armed with a “sharp object” in the Shiite holy city of Qom, south of Tehran.

Two of them were treated at the scene for injuries, while the other two were taken to hospital but expected to be released, IRNA said.

Meanwhile, as Iran hanged a second man in connection with protests on Monday, Amnesty International said that at least 27 people in the country, including three juveniles, were at “great risk” of execution in “grossly unfair sham trials.”NNI