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IRGC Commander Survives Assassination Attempt in Sistan-Baluchestan

IRGC Commander Survives Assassination Attempt in Sistan-Baluchestan

Sunday, 24 April, 2022 - 06:45
Annual military parade on National Army Day in Iran (AFP)

Gunmen have attacked the car of a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), killing one of his bodyguards, according to state media.

Saturday’s report identified the dead man as Mahmoud Absalan, the bodyguard of Brigadier-General Hossein al-Massi, who survived the ambush in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Absalan is the son of General Parviz Absalan, another IRGC commander in the region.

The state-owned news agency, IRNA, reported that the "criminals" opened fire at a checkpoint in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, and security forces arrested those behind the attack.

The incident coincided with the celebrations marking the Revolutionary Guard's establishment anniversary.

The Iranian media did not identify the names or number of attackers.

Sistan-Baluchestan is located in the southeast of Iran, a region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has been the site of clashes between separatists from the Baluchi minority, other armed groups, and Iranian forces.

Many clashes are linked to the smuggling operations, making it an area for clashes between separatists from the Baluch minority or extremist groups operating in that region.

Tehran has previously accused Islamabad of supporting them.

In January, the IRGC announced that three of its mobilization members were among nine people killed in a clash with "armed criminals" in the same region a month after troops killed a gunman who attacked the IRGC's rural intelligence office.

On November 18, the official Iranian media reported the death of three security forces members, including a colonel, during a clash with "criminals" in Sistan-Baluchestan.

Last year, four members of the Iranian Guard were killed during an armed clash in the same province.

The predominantly Sunni Sistan-Baluchestan province has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and Sunni militants fighting the country's Shiite authorities.

Many of Iran's Sunnis complain of discrimination, a charge denied by the state.

In 2009, a suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and more than 29 other people in Sistan-Baluchestan, in one of the boldest attacks on Iran's most powerful military institutions.

A high-ranking Iranian official announced Thursday that Iran would not abandon its plans to avenge the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, commander of IRGC's al-Quds Force, in 2020, despite Washington's "offers" to lift sanctions and make other concessions.

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