Iran Kills Four ‘Bandits’, Frees Two Hostages
Iran's security forces killed four "armed bandits" Tuesday, and freed two hostages they were holding captive in the northeastern province of Khorassan, the state IRNA news agency reported.
The incident took place in Gazyek close to the border with Afghanistan, the agency said citing a military official, but it did not give the nationality of the hostage-takers.
Iran is a major transit route between drug producers in neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan and consumer markets in Europe and the Gulf.
Tehran officials, faced with increased consumption of drugs by young people in Iran, have stepped up their war against drug trafficking during the past few months.
Armed drug traffickers kidnapped six people last week in Khorassan, and a total of 11 Afghan drug traffickers were killed by security forces during several days of violent clashes last week in the same province.
In May, Iran's parliament voted to seal the country's 940-kilometer (600-mile) border with Afghanistan in a bid to contain drug smuggling – TEHRAN (AFP)
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