Middle East

Iran 'kills 30 Kurdish militants across Iraq border'

Iran's Revolutionary Guards. File photo
Image caption The Revolutionary Guards are a counterpoint to the country's regular army

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have crossed into Iraq and killed 30 Kurdish militants blamed for bombing a military parade last week, state TV reports.

It quoted Guards commander Abdolrasoul Mahmoudabad as saying his troops were still pursuing what he called a "terrorist group".

It is rare for Iranian officials to acknowledge cross-border operations.

The attack on the parade in Iran's north-western town of Mahabad killed 12 people, mostly women and children.

Mr Mahmoudabad told Iranian state TV that the "terrorists" were killed on Saturday in a clash "beyond the border".

The commander added that his forces were still chasing two Kurdish militants who had managed to flee.

He did not provide any further details of the operation.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing in Mahabad on 22 September.

A provincial Iranian governor has blamed "counter-revolutionary groups" for the bombing, which came on the 30th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war.

Militants have long been active in the area, which is home to a sizeable Kurdish population.

Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq have also waged a long guerrilla campaign inside Turkey and have regularly clashed with Iranian security forces.

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