Two dead in PKK-KDPI clash on Iranian border


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - After two weeks of tense stand-off a clash erupted between armed wings of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) on the Iran-Iraq border, with at least two KDPI fighters reported killed. 

“Early this morning, the PKK attacked our Peshmerga and unfortunately what we were afraid of, just happened,” Mohammad Saleh Qadri, KDPI's spokesman told Rudaw on Sunday.

According to the source, the clash occurred in the mountainous border area, including the villages of Kelashin, Khenela, and Saqar which are located between the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the ethnically Kurdish area of Iran known by Kurds as Iranian Kurdistan.

PKK fighters started surrounding a number of KDPI positions since Thursday, and had demanded the group leave the area. The KDPI, a party outlawed in Iran, has previously said it would not withdraw from the border region.

The dispute is believed to have started when a KDPI force deployed to the border on May 10 with the intention of establishing a base in areas where the PKK was already entrenched. 

The KDPI is a Kurdish-Iranian party that has struggled for Kurdish rights in Iran for decades. The group has been based in the Kurdistan region of Iraq for more than 30 years.

The PKK is a Kurdish nationalist organization based in Turkey, but has been highly active in the Iranian border areas. The group has been listed by the US as a foreign terrorist organization since the 1990s. 



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