TEHRAN — Iranian police said Tuesday that two police officers had died in the country’s volatile and protest-ridden province of Sistan-Baltistan.
According to state police commander Mohammad Kambari, interviewed by the Tasnim news agency, the pre-dawn ambush targeted a police patrol near the town of Banpur.
The report identified Major Mokhtar Momeni and Lieutenant Abuzar Omidvar as those shot, and blamed the attack on “armed thugs” who wounded two other police officers in the shootout.
The police chief promised that “the perpetrators will be arrested immediately and will receive maximum punishment.”
Poor Sistan-Baluchistan, home to the Baluchi minority and followers of Sunni Islam, shares a long and porous border with neighboring Pakistan and was for decades Iran’s most rebellious province. . In the past four months, the region has witnessed apparent retaliatory attacks aimed at security forces to quell unrest in the wake of the death of her 22-year-old Masaamini in police custody in mid-September. increased in particular.
Most notably, on September 30, Iranian police and troops affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps opened fire on unarmed protesters in the provincial capital, Zahedan, killing nearly 100 people. In an incident deplored as Bloody Friday, the violence was the worst in an ongoing state crackdown. Children, the elderly and the disabled were among those killed in Zahedan, according to advocacy groups, including Amnesty International.
Despite persistent protests every Friday after Sunni prayers in the city, calls for justice went unheeded. Just last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and he called the IRGC a terrorist group, speaking out against the IRGC, witnessed one of the most crowded such rallies. rice field.
The most prominent Sunni cleric in the region, Mouravi Abdul Hamidhe has lashed out at the ruling establishment in his criticism, as he did last Friday, when he emphasized that the government is refusing to meet “the people’s demands for liberty, equality and justice.” In the same sermon, Abdul-Hamid pointed out that young Iranians should no longer be ruled by officials in their 80s and 90s, and this was the 83-year-old Ayatollah Khamenei and the top echelons of power. It is a bold reference to several other old clergymen who are
The criticism has resulted in a coordinated attack on clerics from state media.
Back in November, the anti-government hacktivist group known as Black Reward released what it said were internal documents after a cyberattack on IRGC-linked Fars News. At one point in the classified report, Ayatollah Khamenei appears to have advised authorities to “defame” the Sunni clergy’s critical stance.
Earlier on Saturday, the ultra-conservative Cayhan daily, run by Khamenei’s office, described Abdul Hamid’s speech as “shameless” and a “seditionist”, criticizing his position with Western and Israeli intelligence services. He accused me of matching.