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Militants Stage Deadly Attack on Iranian Police Station



Iranian officials say four militants stormed an Iranian police station Saturday in restive Sistan and Baluchistan province near the Pakistan border, leaving two security officers dead along with the four attackers.

State television is reporting the attack occurred in Zahedan, a city in one of the country’s poorest provinces. The report quoted the province’s deputy governor, Alireza Marhamati, as saying the attackers used grenades, though he did not provide further details.

Molavi Abdul Hamid Ismaeelzehi, the imam of the Sunnis in Zahedan, expressed deep concern Saturday and strong condemnation regarding the armed attack and clashes at the police station.

According to a statement released by the Information Office, Imam Ismaeelzehi said, "This incident has brought profound regret and sorrow."

He further underscored, "In advance, I express my concern and strong disapproval toward any form of violence, armed attacks, or any actions that disrupt public safety. Our approach is to tackle social issues through 'dialogue and constructive criticism,' and we strongly emphasize the preservation of 'territorial integrity and national security.'"

The imam also cited the significance of addressing "legitimate rights" through "appropriate and peaceful methods." He urged the people of Zahedan to abstain from any actions or behaviors that could lead to "insecurity" and encouraged them to maintain peace and exercise self-restraint.

Human rights groups say the Baluch minority of about 2 million people has been repressed and discriminated against for decades. Zahedan has been the scene of weekly protests since the killing of protesters on September 30, 2022, even as demonstrations and unrest have diminished in most other parts of the country.

Amnesty International has reported security forces killed more than 66 people in the crackdown on protesters. Authorities fired Zahedan's police commander and a police station chief.

Authorities blamed the start of the shooting on September 30 on Jaish al-Adl, or the Army of Justice, a Baluch militant group they say operates from safe havens in Pakistan. Neither Jaish al-Adl nor any other group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In other developments, state-run IRNA also reported Saturday authorities hanged two men involved in the deadly October 26, 2022, attack on a mosque in the city of Shiraz, Iran’s second holiest site.

Authorities said the two were members of the Islamic State terror group and were behind the attack that killed at least 13 and wounded 30 people.

One of the gunmen involved in the attack at the mosque, Sobhan Komrouni, died in a hospital in southern Iran from injuries sustained during his arrest.

State TV has blamed “takfiris,” Sunni Muslim extremists who routinely clash with Iran’s Shi’ite majority.

The attack came as protesters around Iran marked 40 days since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody sparked the largest anti-government movement in more than a decade. It appeared to be unrelated to the demonstrations.

The Associated Press and Reuters provided information for this report.

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