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Iranian Forces Clash With Suspected Kurdish Militants

Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of (KDP-Iran), take part in a training as they prepare to celebrate Norouz, the Persian New Year, in the town of Koya, 100 kms north of Irbil in March.

Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) says security forces clashed with suspected Kurdish militants in the country's northwest, leaving at least five insurgents dead.

A statement on the IRGC's official website on June 25 said five "terrorists," including two "leaders," were killed in the fighting in the West Azerbaijan province, near the Iraqi border.

The statement added that a "chase operation to destroy other terrorists is under way."

It said no Iranian forces were wounded in the clashes in the Mahabad area on June 24, and that they confiscated large amounts of weapons and ammunition.

On June 16, Iran's Revolutionary Guard battled armed members of an insurgent Kurdish group in West Azerbaijan province. The IRGC said it killed 12 insurgents while three of its members died.

Iran faces threats from several militant groups, ranging from Sunni Arabs in its southern, oil-rich region, Kurds in its northwest, and Baluch separatists on its eastern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP and IRNA