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Deaths Reported in Fighting Between Iran, Kurd Rebels

Recruits of PJAK, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, a splinter group of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, take defensive positions near the PJAK training camp in the Kandil mountain range, northern Iraq (File)

Iran says an unspecified number of militants with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) have been killed, following clashes along the Iraqi border.

The state-run IRNA news agency said Tuesday that the militants were trapped by Iranian Kurdish volunteer forces Monday night in several towns in West Azerbaijan province.

The news agency says the Revolutionary Guards have launched a fresh offensive to remove militants from the region. Kurdish media is reporting on Tuesday that at least five Guards force members were killed in the fighting. There was no word from Iranian media about Iranian casualties.

Iran began the offensives against the Kurdish rebels earlier this month and routinely shells the area.

On Monday, Iraqi Kurdish officials said at least two people were killed and two others wounded in cross-border shelling.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says the recent violence has forced more than 800 Iraqi Kurds from their homes. The relief organization says most of the displaced people are living in makeshift shelters or have moved in with friends or relatives.

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

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