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Tehran (AFP) - Eight Iranian border guards have been killed in a clash with Sunni rebels who had infiltrated from neighbouring Pakistan, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
"Armed terrorists entered Iran from Pakistan and clashed with border guards, killing eight soldiers before fleeing back to Pakistan," Ali Asghar Mirshekari, deputy governor of Sistan-Baluchistan province, told the news agency.
The southeastern province has a large Sunni Muslim community and has seen repeated attacks by militants on the security forces of mainly Shiite Iran.
Sunni militant group Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice) said its fighters carried out the incursion in Negur district on Monday night, Iranian media reported.
The clash was the deadliest since October 2013 when 14 border guards were killed in an attack also claimed by Jaish-ul Adl.
Mirshekari urged Pakistani officials to "arrest the terrorists and hand them over to Iran to prevent Pakistan from becoming a parade ground for terrorists."
There have been repeated deadly clashes in the border area. Three Iranian soldiers were killed in an ambush in December and three more in an attack in the town of Saravan in October.