Baluch Militants Attack Iran Police Station, 11 Killed

A police station in the southeastern border province of Sistan-Baluchestan, Iran, was attacked. Suspected members of the Sunni armed group Jaish al-Adl carried out the attack, resulting in the deaths of at least 11 Iranian security personnel. The town of Rask, approximately 1,400 kilometers southwest of Tehran, bore witness to this event.

Iran Police Station, 11 Killed

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The attack occurred around 2 am, with senior police officers and soldiers among the victims. Alireza Marhamati, deputy governor of Sistan-Baluchestan, reported that a number of assailants were also killed in a shootout with security forces.

This incident is one of the deadliest attacks in recent years in the region, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni jihadist group formed in 2012, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group is not new to such actions and has been blacklisted by Iran as a terrorist organization.

Their activities include a suicide bombing in 2019 targeting a bus that resulted in the deaths of 27 members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

Jaish al-Adl, with its roots in an extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam, advocates for greater rights and improved living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchi people.

The group has been responsible for numerous attacks on Iranian security forces, often employing guerrilla-style tactics, ambushes, and hit and run operations.

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The region has witnessed unrest involving drug-smuggling gangs, rebels from the Baluchi minority, and Sunni Muslim extremists.

The province’s Sunni population differs from the Shia majority in the rest of Iran, adding a religious dimension to the existing tensions.

Similar attacks have occurred in the past. In July of the same year, four policemen were killed in an ambush while on patrol, an act also claimed by Jaish al-Adl.

The province has seen its share of clashes, including one in May when five Iranian border guards lost their lives in a face off with an armed group in Saravan.

Jaish al-Adl, believed to be based in Pakistan, has been accused of committing cross-border attacks against Iranian forces.

The border between the two countries has been a source of tension, and allegations of support for such groups across borders have diplomatic relations.

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Iranian authorities, including Deputy Interior Minister Majid Mirahmadi, have provided updates on the situation. Mirahmadi reported that security forces successfully neutralized some of the attackers, arrested one, and secured the entire region.

Sistan-Baluchestan has also been a hotspot for local unrest, including protests and clashes. Zahedan, a Sunni-majority city in the province, witnessed months long protests in September of the previous year. The demonstrations erupted following allegations of the rape of a teenage girl by a police officer.

Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, stands out as one of the few Sunni-majority cities in Shiite Iran.

The religious demographics contribute to a social and political dynamic, with longstanding grievances among the Baluch minority, who have at times felt marginalized by the Shiite rulers.

Zahedan was also of deadly protests that erupted in September of the previous year. The protests were triggered by the alleged rape of a teenage girl by a police officer, leading to protest against the government.

The attack on the police station is a pattern of insurgency in Sistan-Baluchestan, involving not only Jaish al-Adl but also other groups and individuals with various grievances. The militants often employ guerrilla-style tactics, including ambushes and hit and run attacks.

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