TEHRAN – Iran executed 16 “rebels” Saturday in reprisal after gunmen killed at least 14 border guards near the border with Pakistan in an ambush the previous night in the mountains of Sistan-Baluchestan, a province in southeastern Iran often rocked by violence.
The province is home to minority Sunni Muslims, and drug traffickers and Sunni militants operate there. The gunmen were identified as “bandits or rebels opposed to the Islamic republic.”
In retaliation for the attack, the Iranian authorities said they hanged 16 rebels held at a prison in the region.
Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said, “We warned the rebel groups that any attack targeting civilians or members of the security forces would not go unanswered.”