Six Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed when their helicopter crashed during an operation against rebels close to the Iraqi border, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.
"The helicopter was used by the Revolutionary Guards for operations against the terrorist group of Pejak and crashed due to bad weather east of Qandil mountains near Piranshahr in West Azarbaijan province," Mehr said.
"But some local officials have also said it could have been shot," the report said, adding that the helicopter came down on Friday.
"Six including the pilot have been martyred and two are severely injured."
The agency said the guards had recently launched a new operation against the Kurdish rebel group Pejak, based in Qandil mountains.
Iran's north-western West Azerbaijan province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, is the scene of regular armed clashes between Iranian border guards and Kurdish militant parties, Pejak in particular.
In February the group, linked to Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), claimed it had shot down a military helicopter and killed 20 soldiers, including senior officers.
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 11:40