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 Iran arrests Kurdish PJAK rebels involved in prosecutor's murder

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Iran arrests Kurdish PJAK rebels involved in prosecutor's murder  19.1.2010 

Iran says arrests 4 suspects in prosecutor's killing

January 19, 2010

Iranian Kurdistan, Iran has arrested four suspects in the killing of a prosecutor in an attack which a judiciary official said may have been carried out by Kurdish guerrillas, Iranian media reported on Tuesday.

Vali Haji Gholizadeh, prosecutor in the northwestern city of Khoy in a region bordering Turkey, was shot dead in front of his home on Monday night.

"So far, no group has claimed responsibility for this terrorist act," provincial judiciary chief Mohammad Ali Mousavi was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

"But in view of the threats and plans the PJAK group had announced previously, it is probable that this group is involved in the assassination," he said.

Iranian security forces often clash with guerrillas from the Iranian Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Turkey Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran, mainly live in the provinces of West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah.

Iran sees PJAK, which seeks autonomy for Kurdish areas in Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and shelters in Iraqi Kurdistan border provinces. The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane) (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan),
www.ekurd.netis a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in northern Iraq that has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran and other Kurdish-inhabited areas.

Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed militiamen.

The United States on February 4, 2009 added the Iranian Kurdish PJAK militant group opposed to Iran to its list of terrorist organizations.

Khoy's governor, Ebrahim Mohammadlou, said four suspects had been arrested in connection with Monday's assassination.

He said the city's prosecutor appeared to have been killed by "hostile anti-revolution groups", the semi-official Mehr News Agency added.

The assassination took place six days after a remote-controlled bomb killed a university scientist in Tehran. Such incidents are relatively rare in Iran, which borders volatile Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States and Israel for the bombing attack that killed the Tehran University Professor,
www.ekurd.netMassoud Ali-Mohammadi. The United States dismissed the allegation of U.S. involvement as absurd.

An Iranian opposition website said he was a supporter of opposition leaser Mirhossein Mousavi. 

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Reuters | Agencies   


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