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Iranian border guards shoot four kolbars dead in one day

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Iranian security forces have killed four kolbars in the Kurdish west of the country in the space of just 24 hours, according to witnesses and a Kurdish human rights watchdog.

Members of Iranian border guards fired upon a group of kolbars near the village of Qalarash in the Sardasht area in the early hours of Wednesday morning, killing three of them.

“Three kolbars, namely 22-year-old Zanko Ahmadi, Soroush Makari and 25-year-old father-of-one Zanest Hassannejad were killed,” the Paris-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported

The killing of the four kolbars came in the days immediately after an announcement by the head of Iran's border guards that his forces were to deploy drones and sensors to a 1,000 kilometre stretch of border with the Kurdistan Region, including at Sardasht, to prevent goods smuggling and other illegal travel through the porous mountain border.

Border guard chief Ahmad Ali Goudarzi said on Monday that his forces plan to create a smart barrier in the border area and “…the infrastructure for this purpose include optical tools, electronics, drones and any new technologies, light operational vehicles and the equipment needed for the guards.”

Around 70,000 kolbars are active in the Kurdish area of Iran, most of whom carry untaxed goods on their back from the Kurdistan Region into Iran to make a living for their families. Hundreds are killed or wounded every year at the hands of Iranian border guards and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)..
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