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Iran Launches New Drone Bombs in Iran  09/28 06:10

   

   KOYA, Iraq (AP) -- Iran launched a new drone bombing campaign Wednesday 
targeting the bases of an Iranian-Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq 
amid demonstrations engulfing the Islamic Republic, Kurdish officials said.

   The strikes early Wednesday focused on Koya, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) 
east of Irbil, said Soran Nuri, a member of the Democratic Party of Iranian 
Kurdistan. The group, known by the acronym KDPI, is a leftist armed opposition 
force banned in Iran.

   Iran's state-run IRNA news agency and broadcaster said the country's 
Revolutionary Guard ground forces targeted some bases of a separatist group in 
the north of Iraq with its "precision missiles" and "suicide drones." Two 
people were killed and seven were wounded, according to Kurdish Brig. Gen. 
Goran Ahmed, chief of civil defense in Koya. The Kurdish television network 
Rudaw said 15 people were injured.

   Gen. Hasan Hasanzadeh of the Revolutionary Guard said 185 Basijis, a 
volunteer force, were injured by "machete and knife" in the unrest, state-run 
IRNA news agency reported Wednesday. Hasanzadeh also said rioters broke the 
skull of one of the Basij members. He added that five Basijis are hospitalized 
in intensive care.

   The Iranian drone strikes targeted a military camp, homes, offices and other 
areas around Koya, Nuri said. Nuri described the attack as ongoing.

   Following the first series of strikes, Iran then shelled seven positions in 
Koya's stronghold in Qala, a KDPI official told The Associated Press on the 
condition of anonymity in order to speak publicly. The Qala area includes the 
party's politburo.

   An Associated Press journalist saw ambulances racing through Koya after the 
strikes. Smoke rose from the site of one apparent strike as security forces 
closed off the area.

   On Saturday and Monday, Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard unleashed a 
wave of drone and artillery strikes targeting Kurdish positions.

   The attacks appear to be a response to the ongoing protests roiling Iran 
over the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was detained by the 
nation's morality police.

   The United Nations Secretary-General called on Iran early Wednesday to 
refrain from using "unnecessary or disproportionate force" against protesters 
as unrest over a young woman's death in police custody spread across the 
country.

   Antonio Guterres said through a spokesman that authorities should swiftly 
conduct an impartial investigation of the death of Mahsa Amini, which has 
sparked unrest across Iran's provinces and the capital of Tehran.

   "We are increasingly concerned about reports of rising fatalities, including 
women and children, related to the protests," U.N. spokesman Stphane Dujarric 
in a statement. "We underline the need for prompt, impartial and effective 
investigation into Ms. Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent 
authority."

   Protests have spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages in Iran. 
State TV reported that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since 
the protests began Sept. 17.

   An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at 
least 14 dead, with more than 1,500 demonstrators arrested.

   The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, meanwhile, said it 
documented the arrests of at least 23 journalists as the clashes between 
security forces and protesters heated up.

   CPJ in a Wednesday statement called on Iranian authorities to "immediately" 
release arrested journalists who covered Amini's death and protests.

   Dujarric added that Guterres stressed the need to respect human rights, 
including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association during the 
meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on September 22nd.

 
 
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