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Nine Smugglers, One Police Killed In Iran Shoot-Out

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Nine armed drug traffickers and one Iranian policeman have been killed in a shoot-out near the border with Afghanistan, a police commander has said.

Hossein Sajedinia, a regional police commander, said security forces intercepted a caravan of smugglers on September 13 who refused to give themselves up and opened fire on agents, Mehr news agency reported.

"In the course of this exchange of fire, nine armed outlaws were killed and one police officer was martyred," Sajedinia said on September 14.

Police seized arms and ammunition and 122 kilograms of opium, he added.

Iran's eastern border areas are known for frequent clashes between security forces and well-armed drug traffickers. Iran is a key transit route for narcotics smuggled from Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 percent of the world's supply of opium, to the West and elsewhere.