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 Iran's Revolutionary Guards kill 22 Kurd PJAK rebels 

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards kill 22 Kurd PJAK rebels  5.9.2011    

September 5, 2011

TEHRAN, —  Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have killed 22 rebels of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in a new offensive along the northwestern border with Iraqi Kurdistan region, state television reported on Monday.

"Twenty-two PJAK rebels were killed in the new Guards operations in Sardasht Heights, and another 27 rebels have been wounded," the report said.

Guards operations officer Colonel Hamid Ahmadi said the offensive launched on Friday would "continue until all counter-revolutionaries, rebels and terrorists have been cleared away."
Iranian media reported on Saturday that two Guards had been killed on the first day of the offensive.

PJAK rebels have clashed repeatedly with Iranian forces in recent       

A member of the Revolutionary Guard Colonel Hamid Ahmadi speaks with journalists about military operations against PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) during a news conference in Tehran August 17, 2011 Photo: Reuters

years, drawing retaliatory bombing of their rear-bases in mountainous border districts of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Commanders said they had halted operations during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to give the rebels a chance to pull back from border areas but they had failed to do so.

The Iranian bombardment of Iraqi Kurdistan’s border areas had continued since more than 2 months,www.ekurd.netkilling and injuring many Iraqi Kurdish civilians and causing damage for dozens of houses and agricultural fields.

Human Rights Watch said on Friday that it had evidence that Iran may have deliberately targeted civilians in its offenisve against the rebels.

Kurdish local officials and an NGO in early August reported that more than 200 Iraqi Kurdish families had been forced from their homes by weeks of Iranian shelling of separatist rebel bases in northern Iraq.

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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