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Iran: Bomb Attack Kills Three Revolutionary Guards

Militants target Iranian Revolutionary Guard operatives in occupied Balochistan in the latest in a string of attacks.

Contact Editor
Ari Soffer,

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC)
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC)
Reuters

Three members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have been killed in a roadside bomb in Iranian-occupied Balochistan, according to Iranian media.

The men, who were travelling in a car at the time, were working on a "construction project" near the city of Saravan, in the southeastern "Sistan-Balochistan" province, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Tasnim news agency.

It is the latest in a string of attacks by Sunni groups against Iranian authorities in the region, which is a hotbed of ethnic and religious separatism and opposition to the regime in Tehran.

In October, Iranian authorities hanged 16 Baloch rebels in retaliation for a militant attack which killed 14 Iranian border guards in the region.

The following month, Baloch rebels gunned down a public prosecutor and his driver in the city of Zabol in a revenge attack.

Baloch nationalist groups have waged a prolonged struggle for independence in Balochistan, which Iran has occupied since 1948, sometimes resorting to violent attacks in the face of severe oppression by authorities. 

But regional unrest also has a religious aspect to it - most Baloch are Sunni Muslims, and analysts say the most recent upswing in violence is related to Shia Iran's role in propping-up the Allawite-led Assad regime in Syria as it battles Sunni rebels.

Iranian forces have played a key role in fighting the rebels. Apart from training and arming local and foreign pro-regime Shia and Allawite militias, Tehran has sent a significant number of operatives from the IRGC's elite "Qods Force" to Syria, to fight alongside regime forces.