Report: 14 Iranian border guards killed in clashes

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Armed men have 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 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 Persian 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.

The elder Mousavis 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.

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