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 Two Iranian policemen killed in Kurdistan shootings

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Two Iranian policemen killed in Kurdistan shootings  26.3.2011   

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March 26, 2011

SANANDAJ, Iranian Kurdistan, — Two Iranian policemen were shot dead and three other people wounded in what authorities said on Friday were two "terrorist" attacks in Iran's Kurdistan province near the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, news agencies said.

The shootings occurred in the city of Sanandaj [Sina] on Thursday night. The official news agency IRNA said assailants used Kalashnikov assault rifles in their attacks on police.

Ali-Reza Shahbazi, governor of Kurdistan province said the "terrorist acts" were aimed at "making the region insecure and stopping the course of investment and development".

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Security forces in the west of Iran often clash with guerrillas from PJAK, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK),
www.ekurd.netwhich took up arms in 1984 for an autonomous homeland in southeast Turkey [Turkey Kurdistan] and shelters in Iraq's northeastern border provinces.        

Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran

Like Iraq and Turkey, Iran has a large Kurdish minority, mainly living in the northwest and west.

Iran rejects allegations by Western rights groups that it discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities. Most Iranian Kurds are Sunni Muslims.

The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane) (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), 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.

PJAK is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (Koma Civaken Kurdistan or KCK), which is an alliance of Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive Council.

Led by Haji Ahmadi, the PJAK’s objective is to establish a semi-autonomous regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, Turkey and Syria similar to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

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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