Tehran: Iran’s media says authorities have hanged 16 “rebels” of an unspecified armed group in retaliation for the death of 14 border guards in clashes near the frontier with Pakistan.
The semi-official Fars news agency quoted local judicial official Mohammad Marzieh as saying that the 16 were executed on Saturday morning after the rebels ambushed the border guards near the town of Saravan in southeast Iran.
Drug smugglers have occasionally ambushed Iranian troops in the area.
Ethnic Baluch armed groups also operate there, but recently have been much less active. The report provided few other details.
It did not mention a trial, suggesting the prisoners may already have been convicted and sentenced to death, and their executions moved up after the ambush.
On Friday night, armed men killed 14 Iranian border guards in clashes near the frontier with Pakistan, Iran’s official news agency said.
Authorities were investigating whether the attackers were drug smugglers or armed opposition groups, both of which have occasionally ambushed Iranian troops, Irna said.
The clashes took place on Friday night in a mountainous region outside Saravan, a town in southeast Iran on the border with Pakistan. Irna said five other Iranian guards were wounded in the attack.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf states.
Ethnic Baluch armed groups also operate in the area, but recently have been much less active. An Iranian official meanwhile said that the country’s Intelligence Ministry would probe claims by the daughter of detained opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi that she was bitten and hit by a female guard during an argument that broke out after she was allowed to visit her parents.
Irna quoted an unnamed security official as saying that the ministry, which supervises the detentions of the elder Mousavi and his wife, will investigate any failures or fault by the guard.
However, the official said Mousavi’s daughter was at fault in the incident, claiming that she insulted and attacked the guard.
The opposition Kaleme website on Friday recounted the allegations by Nargess Mousavi: that she was abused by the guard, who demanded that she and her sister consent to a strip search after visiting her parents, who have been under house arrest since early 2011.
Nargess Mousavi claims the guard struck her in the head and bit her on the wrist after she refused to be searched. Mousavi and fellow opposition figure Mahdi Karroubi were placed under house arrest after leading protests in 2009 over the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.