Militancy in Kordestan troubles Iran

Sept. 21, 2009 at 5:54 PM

TEHRAN, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The perpetrators of the spate of terrorist attacks in the western Iranian province of Kordestan must be dealt with firmly, the Iranian vice president said.

Mohammad Reza Rahimi, the first vice president of Iran, said he appointed Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar to investigate the string of terrorist-related killings in Kordestan, the Fars News Agency reports.

"Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar will hold a meeting with committee members and provincial officials in Kordestan to dry out the roots of the recent instabilities which are linked with malicious groups outside the country," he said.

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed Ayatollah Mamousta Borhan Ali in front of his home in early September in the western city of Sanandaj. The cleric was a leading supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the June election campaign.

His assassination follows an earlier attempt on the life of a provincial judge in the city.

Mohammad Taghi Heydari, the governor of Sanandaj, said the assassination was part of an external plot to portray the region as volatile and unsafe.

Iranian media reports only identified "foreign elements" as the alleged perpetrators.

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