ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An unidentified armed group battled with members of an Iranian border guard regiment on Monday night near the boundary of the Kurdistan Region, killing one of them. A source close to the army claimed the perpetrators were part of an Iranian opposition group, but did not specify which.
"Marivan Border Guards Regiment engaged in combat with a number of armed [fighters] that meant to enter and commit subversive actions in the country," Kiumerth Sheikhi, military commander at the western frontier of Iran's Kurdistan Province, told semi-official media outlet Tasnim, known to have close ties with the military.
During the exchange, which broke out near the Dara-Nakh village in Marivan (Mariwan) County, two members of the armed group were reported injured in addition to the death of the border guard, named Milad Mohammedian, according to state-owned IRNA media agency.
No party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
In recent years, armed wings of Kurdish parties opposing Tehran and seeking rights for Iranian Kurds (Rojhilatis) have begun to launch insurgent attacks on the armed forces of the country.
It should be noted that Iran's border guards have been fatally shooting, with increasing regularity, Kurdish couriers from the economically impoverished areas of the Rojhilati provinces. The couriers, known as kulbar, earn their living by smuggling small amounts of goods into the Kurdistan Region by trecking through steep mountainous regions, many earning as little as ten dollars a day.
Though a constitutionally prohibited act, the guards have killed 21 of the couriers in the six months between March and September.
Shopkeepers and business owners from Rojhilati provinces on Monday participated in a cross-country general strike against Tehran as the economy of Iran worsens with stricter US sanctions on the horizon and expected to squeeze the country's finances further still.
Editing by John J. Catherine