On September 30, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander died of wounds he sustained during clashes with armed separatists in southeastern Iran.
The separatists shot Ali Mousavi, commander of the IRGC’s intelligence unit in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, in the chest while attacking a police station by in the city of Zahedan.
The Iranian state TV said that armed separatists concealed themselves among worshippers and attacked a police base near the Makki mosque in Zahedan. Hossein Modarres-Khiabani, governor of Sistan-Baluchestan, said that a total of 19 people were killed in the attack.
The IRGC Ground Forces acknowledged on October 1 that three of its service members, Seyyed Hamid Reza Hashemi, Mohammad Amin Azar Shokr, and Mohammad Amin Arefi, were killed as a result of the attack.
Jaish ul-Adl, a Salafi jihadist militant organization that operates mainly in southeastern Iran, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. The separatist group carried out several attacks against civilians and military personnel in Iran since its formation in 2012.
Following the attack, separatists set fire to several buildings in Zahedan, including a fire station, a care center and a bank, in an attempt to take over the city. However, their attempt was quickly foiled by Iranian security forces.
The separatists were likely emboldened by the ongoing Kurdish-led protests in Iran. The protests broke out two weeks ago following the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict rules on wearing the hijab, the Islamic head covering for women.
In a statement, the IRGC Salman Base vowed to give a decisive response to the perpetrators of the “terrorist attack.” The guards will likely step up their security operations against radical separatists in Sistan-Baluchestan.