The fighting took place in the district of Kourin, near the Pakistani border, killing 3 three Guard members and at least 6 bandits.

Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province has long been plagued by unrest.
Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province has long been plagued by unrest. (IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD VIA SEPAH NEWS / AFP)

Iran's Revolutionary Guard and an armed criminal gang have clashed in a restive southeastern province, leaving three Guard members and "at least six bandits" dead.

Five other bandits have been wounded in the second day of clashes in an impoverished and often restive region, the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

According to the report, fighting took place in the district of Kourin, about 1,120 kilometres (700miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran, and near the Pakistani border.

The Revolutionary Guard said they had killed six "armed bandits" in the country's southeast in a statement on their website.

Three local members of the volunteer Basij militia fighting alongside the Revolutionary Guard were killed in the clashes, the elite force's statement said.

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A troubled region

Kourin is a district in Sistan-Baluchestan province that has long been plagued by unrest from militant groups.

The province, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, is where a separatist group affiliated with al Qaeda and known as Jaish al Adl, or Army of Justice, operates.

Last July, armed bandits shot and killed four Guard members in the province.

On Friday, Revolutionary Guards had shot dead three men believed to have been involved in the killing of two Guards on December 25, according to Iranian media.

Security forces have also clashed with drug traffickers in the province, located along a major smuggling route for Afghan opium and heroin.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies