Iran Guard Says in Control of Opposition Bases on Iraq Border

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Iran state media say Iranian Revolutionary Guards are in control of three bases of an Iranian Kurdish opposition group along the border of neighboring Iraq.

Guard Colonel Delavar Ranjbarzadeh claimed on Monday “a large number'' of deaths of opposition group fighters from clashes Saturday and Sunday.

A rebel spokesman earlier said that many soldiers were killed in the fighting. Neither account could be independently confirmed.

The gunbattles between Iranian forces and rebels from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan occurred along Iraq border near the Iranian Kurdish town of Sardasht.

The Kurdish group, known as PJAK, has been involved in sporadic clashes with Iranian government forces in recent years and says it is fighting for greater rights.

The Iranian military last week threatened to attack the group's bases in neighboring Iraq. PJAK rebels said the fighting had spilled over into Iraq's Sulaimaniyah province.

Iran routinely shells border districts of northern Iraq's Kurdish region, saying it is targeting PJAK bases.