TEHRAN, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Kurdish militants battling Iranian forces in the western mountains killed a commander with the elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran said.
Tehran has dispatched thousands of troops to its border with Iraq presumably to take on militants in the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan, or PJAK.
The semi-official Fars News Agency reported that Brig. Gen. Abbasali Jannesari "was martyred during clashes with the PJAK terrorist group" in the western mountains of Iran.
The report follows Iranian claims that Majid Kavian, deputy commander of PJAK, was killed during Iranian tank bombardments last weekend.
Turkey has been locked in bottle with PJAK affiliates in the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The fight has been a source of contention for Iraqi officials, who warned about encroachments on their sovereignty.
Human Rights Watch said the Iranian and Turkish military response to Kurdish militants has killed nearly a dozen civilians since July. The rights group in its report from last week said Iranian military activity along the border regions might be part of an effort to drive civilians out of the area.