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Iran: 23 Dead in Clash with Kurdish Rebels

Iran says a clash near the Iraqi border between its forces and Kurdish rebels has killed two Iranian Revolutionary Guards and 21 rebels.

Iran's state-run PressTV reported on Wednesday that the fighting in the city of Sardasht injured two other Revolutionary Guards. It alleged that rebels of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) have laid landmines in the area.

Fighting has surged between the two sides in recent weeks with an Iranian government offensive against the rebel group.

Iran has claimed a number of successes in the fighting, including the reported capture of bases of the PJAK rebels near the Iraq border.

Kurdish media reported that at least five Revolutionary Guards were killed in fighting earlier this week.

The details of the fighting cannot be confirmed as few outside observers travel to the border region.

On Monday, Iraqi Kurdish officials said cross-border shelling had killed at least two people in the Iraqi town of Sidkan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday it was providing assistance to more than 800 Iraqi Kurds driven from their homes by recent shelling from Iran.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.