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Insurgent Group Claims Killing Guards Commander In Iran, Officials Deny

A map published by social media channels shows the approximate location of the attack. June 30, 2020

The governor of Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran on Tuesday denied any fatalities in an attack on three Revolutionary Guard vehicles in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan by the Baloch Justice Army (Jaish al-Adl) in the early hours of Tuesday.

The road-side bomb attack took place near a village called Galougah on the way to Korin, a district of province capital Zahedan. Sistan and Baluchestan is the largest but least developed of the 31 Iranian provinces and its population is predominantly Sunni.

Supporters of Jaish al-Adl, a Baluchi separatist group on various social media platforms including Telegram, Instagram and Twitter and websites associated with the group claim the Revolutionary Guard Commander of Korin District of Zahedan and his driver were killed in the attack.

These sources also claim that a number of the guards were taken prisoner by the group. "There are no losses in the ranks of the Baloch Army of Justice," a sympathizer with Jaish al-Adl wrote on Twitter shortly after the attack.

Social media users have named the Revolutionary Guard commander as Colonel Mojtaba Mirshekar.

Ali-Ahmad Mohebati, the governor of the province, denied any fatalities in the explosions which he said Jaish al-Adl had taken responsibility for.

Fada-Hossein Maleki, one of the representatives of Zahedan in the newly-elected parliament, on Tuesday confirmed two road-side bombs had been set on the route of a three vehicle Revolutionary Guard patrol group. Maleki said one of the bombs was disarmed but the second one went off and injured one of the Revolutionary Guard commanders of the district.

Jaish al-Adl (Jaish ul-Adl) is a Salafi jihadist militant organization that operates in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan and has bases in neighboring Pakistan. The group which was designated as a terrorist group by the United States in July 2019 was founded in 2012 by members of Jundullah (Army of God) after Iran executed Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of Juundullah in 2010 and has carried out several major attacks against Iranian forces since 2013.

Iran alleges that the Sunni militant group is funded by "foreign enemies" such as the United States and Saudi Arabia.

In 2019 Jaish al-Adl carried out four bombings in Sistan and Baluchestan Province as well as kidnappings and hostage-takings. The last, a suicide bombing which targeted a Revolutionary Guard transportation bus on February 13 killed 27 people and injured 13 others.