Source AP ©

Iranian troops kill 10 insurgents in ongoing clashes

Iranian troops on Wednesday killed 10 insurgents in ongoing clashes in the country's northwest.

The report by the Islamic Republic News Agency said the troops of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards killed the insurgents during an operation to remove "armed counterrevolutionary insurgents" in the Salmas region, some 700 kilometers (440 miles) northwest of Tehran, the capital.

"Operations still continue," the report said. It provided no other details.

Earlier Wednesday, IRNA reported that seven Revolutionary Guard members and five insurgents had been killed in clashes in the same area on Monday night.

Those clashes occurred when insurgents ambushed a patrol of border guards. Several more Iranian troops were injured and one of the insurgents was detained, the report said but gave no further details.

Both IRNA's reports laid no blame for the attack.

Iran usually claims the United States, Britain or Israel are behind similar clashes, saying that those countries have been trying to foment insecurity along Iran's borders.

Also, the report did not blame an Iranian opposition group known to be active in the region the Kurds' PEJAK, which in Kurdish stands for "Party of Free Life of Kurdistan" and is believed affiliated with Kurdish rebel group PKK fighting for autonomy in Turkey since 1984 which has sporadically fought with Iranian troops in the past two years.

It was not immediately clear if the absence of any blame for the attacks was related to the landmark U.S.-Iranian talks in Baghdad on Monday that broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze between Tehran and Washington.

The talks in the offices of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were the first formal and scheduled meeting between Iranian and American officials since U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Tehran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the seizure of the U.S. Embassy.

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