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 Iran claims killing 30 Kurdish PJAK rebels 

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Iran claims killing 30 Kurdish PJAK rebels  4.9.2011    

September 4, 2011

TEHRAN,— Iran said its troops killed or wounded 30 Iranian Kurdish rebels in a fresh assault on the mountainous border with Iraqi Kurdistan region where witnesses reported fierce fighting and shelling on Saturday.

A commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said the military push was launched after giving the rebels a one-month “grace period” during Ramadan to withdraw from the area from where they have launched ambushes and sabotage attacks on gas pipelines.

“The Revolutionary Guards forces have killed or injured 30 members of the PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) terrorist group since Friday afternoon to now,” Colonel Hamid Ahmadi told the official IRNA news agency.        

Iran has begun a new military push against Kurdish PJAK rebels on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan region. Photo: ANF
One Turkish air strike killed seven Kurd civilians late last month and on Saturday Iranian soldiers shot dead a Kurdish shepherd outside the border town of Haj Omran, according to the town’s mayor, Maghdid Ahmed.

Iranian shelling during a campaign against Kurdish PJAK rebels killed damaged farms and houses in north Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, local officials said.

Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have fled their homes in the area to small camps since mid-July.

Human Rights Watch has charged that Iran may be deliberately targeting civilians in its campaign against the rebels.

Witnesses and local officials reported fighting in the Qandil mountains and shelling around the Iraqi Kurdish village of Sone.

Managing the PKK presence is a tricky task for Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan government with Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, and to the south a fragile,www.ekurd.netpower-sharing central Iraqi government with whom the Kurds still disagree about territorial and oil rights.

The PKK has previously said it believes Turkey and Iran are coordinating their attacks in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and that it would join forces with the Iranian offshoot to better counter the assaults.

A PKK spokesman confirmed that would happen.

“After realising that the Iranian forces are not only targeting the PJAK party but targeting all Kurds and their achievements, for this reason we announce that from now on we will start fighting the Iranian forces side-by-side with PJAK fighters,” Dozdar Hamo told Reuters

“From now on we will start to cooperate directly to support the PJAK and together defend the achievements of the Kurdish people.”

The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north that has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) 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.

Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran. 

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