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 Iran arrests alleged killer of prosecutor

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Iran arrests alleged killer of prosecutor  27.1.2010 

January 27, 2010

, Iranian armed forces have arrested the alleged killer of a local prosecutor after they clashed with Kurdish PJAK rebels, a senior provincial official was quoted as saying Wednesday by local media.

The governor general of West Azerbaijan province in Iranian Kurdistan, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said that during clashes between Iranian forces and members of PJAK, "the person behind the assassination of Khoy prosecutor was identified and arrested."

He said the clashes took place Monday night and added that several PJAK members were killed in the fighting which occurred close to "a border."

Jalalzadeh did not reveal on which border the clashes occurred as West Azerbaijan (Eastern Kurdistan) has borders with Iraqi Kurdistan region (Southern Kurdistan),
www.ekurd.netTurkey and Azerbaijan.

On January 19, Fakhrali Nikbakht, a local interior ministry official said that four people had been arrested over the gunning down of Vali Haji-Gholizadeh, the prosecutor of the northwestern town of Khoy.

Iranian officials had previously claimed that the prosecutor was killed by PJAK.

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.

Northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan), which has a sizeable Kurdish population, has seen deadly fighting in recent years between Iranian security forces and PJAK members as well as other Kurdish rebels operating from bases in neighbouring Iraq.

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.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, AFP | Agencies   


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