TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Three people were killed over two days in clashes in the southeastern Iranian town of Saravan near the border with Pakistan, the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported.
An angry mob stormed the district governor’s office Tuesday, a day after shootings of fuel smugglers at the border left at least two people dead.
Tuesday's ILNA report quoted Malak Fazeli, Saravan's representative in parliament, as saying: “As far as I know, three people lost their lives while being transferred to the hospital.”
It was unclear whether all three people were killed in the border shootings or if one of the fatalities was a result of the chaos at the district governor's office.
Fazeli said another eight people were hospitalized with injuries but three were released. He said calm had returned to the town.
On the other side of the border, in Pakistan, officials lamented the loss of life and urged authorities of both countries to investigate the shootings and resulting mayhem.
Sana Ullah Baluch, a member of the Baluchistan Provincial Assembly and former senator in the government, told a local TV channel that he'd heard reports of higher death tolls, without providing evidence.
“Our innocent jobless youths go (to Iran) because of unemployment, they don't go there just for entertainment,” he said of the violence that broke out when outraged protesters stormed a police station and later the governor's office in Saravan. “The governments of Pakistan and Iran should devise some policy ... so that these men don’t face bullets, batons and torture."
Saravan is a major city in Sistan-Baluchestan, a desert province that is one of the most restive and least developed parts of Iran.
Local official Mohammad Hadi Marashi said Tuesday the outrage at the governors’ office stemmed from the shooting of several fuel smugglers on the Pakistani side of the border near Saravan the day before.