During renewed border clashes in Iran, 17 rebels and four men of the paramilitary revolutionary guards (IRGC) were killed, state news agency IRNA reported on Thursday.
An IRGC commander told IRNA that several rebels infiltrated Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran in recent days for what he called "sabotage operations" but 17 of them were killed and several others wounded.
Azerbaijan province borders both Iraq and Turkey and Iran has had frequent clashes there with members or sympathisers of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).
On Tuesday two policemen were killed and four more abducted by a rebel group in the Sistan-Beluchistan province in southeast Iran.
The group had reportedly infiltrated Iran from neighbouring Pakistan for terrorist operations.