Senior officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards killed in ambush

Col Hossein Ali Javidanfar's convoy attacked in Pakistan border region where separatist group Jaish Al Adl is active

A billboard depicting Iranian missiles with a message in Persian and Hebrew reading 'prepare your coffins' on a building in Palestine Square, Tehran. EPA
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Militants hunted down a senior officer with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps late on Wednesday in the south-east of the country, the state-run the Islamic Republic News Agency said.

The ambush against the convoy of Col Hossein Ali Javidanfar of the IRGC's Salman Corps took place in Sistan and Baluchestan province, Irna reported.

The officer was on his way back from a mission travelling on the road connecting Khash and Zahedan, the provincial capital, it added.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the separatist group Jaish Al Adl is active in the province which borders Pakistan.

Baluch separatist groups have carried out a low-level insurgency for more than two decades and have targeted members of the security forces in both Iran and Pakistan.

The assassination came a day after the IRGC launched a barrage of missile strikes on the bases of Jaish Al Adl inside Pakistani territory.

The strikes, according to reports, were in response to a December attack on a police station in the city of Rask in Sistan-Baluchestan, in which 11 policemen were killed.

Jaish Al Adl, or the Army of Justice, surfaced in 2012. It mainly comprises members of the Sunni militant Jundullah group, which was weakened after Iran arrested most of its members.

The anti-Iranian group wants independence for Iran’s eastern Sistan and Pakistan’s south-western Balochistan provinces. These goals make it a common target for both governments.

Pakistan insists the group has no organised presence on its territories but acknowledges that some militants might be hiding in remote areas of Balochistan province, which is the country's largest province by area and its most sensitive because of a long-running insurgency.

Separatists and nationalists complain of discrimination and want a fairer share of their province's resources and wealth.

Updated: January 18, 2024, 7:01 AM