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Militants Kill 10 Iranian Soldiers Near Iraqi Border

Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported on July 21 that militants killed 10 soldiers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) during an overnight attack near the border with Iraq.

It was the latest deadly clash in an area of Iran where armed opposition Kurdish groups are active.

Tasnim quoted an IRGC statement as saying that several of the attacking "terrorists" also were killed in the fighting and that an ammunition depot was blown up.

Iran’s Fars news agency said the clash involved Iranian border guards.

Earlier, provincial security official Hosein Khosheqbal told Iranian state television that 11 members of the IRGC’s Basij forces were killed in the overnight violence in the Marivan area.

Khosheqbal blamed the attack on militants from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) -- an outlawed Kurdish armed opposition group that seeks self-governance for Iran’s Kurds and has links to Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

PJAK operates in the border area along with other armed Kurdish groups that are based in northern Iraq.

There is little coordination between Iranian and Iraqi forces over security of the porous border that has also been used by Islamic State (IS) militants to infiltrate Iran.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, Fars, and Tasnim