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Iran Says 17-Hour Battle With Separatists Leaves 28 Dead in 2 Cities

Iranian security forces battled simultaneous terrorist attacks by a militant separatist group in a southwest province that raged for nearly 17 hours, with intense gunfights in the streets of two cities that resulted in the deaths of 10 security officers and 18 militants, according to the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.

State television broadcast footage of gunmen running in the streets of Sistan Baluchestan Province as loud explosions from rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire rocked the two cities, and large plumes of smoke billowed into the air. Forty-four people were injured, the ministry said.

Jaish al-Adl, a separatist ethnic Baluch group designated by the United States as a terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Iran’s deputy interior minister, Majid Mirahmadi, said on state television that the fighting had raged for hours, from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. the next day. The gunmen entered homes, taking civilians hostage to use as human shields, but security forces released them, he said. The militants wore vests with explosives, and several blew themselves up during the fighting, he added.

The gunmen tried to take over military bases belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is responsible for securing Iran’s borders, in the cities of Chabahar, home to a shipping port, and Rask, according to a statement from the Guards published in Iranian news media.

“They did not achieve their ominous goals and failed,” Mr. Mirahmadi said on state television. “Their goal was to seize the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards in Rask and martyr the security forces, and capture the headquarters of the Guards, naval outposts and security forces headquarters in Chabahar.”

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