Eleven members of Iran's elite revolutionary guards have been killed in clashes with drug traffickers and rebels in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, a newspaper said on Saturday.
"The clashes happened on Thursday night with armed traffickers and rebels. Nine guards and members of the basij (militia) were also wounded," Ghasem Hasanzadeh, a spokesman for the guards, was quoted as saying by the government daily Iran.
Sistan-Baluchestan lies on a major narcotics smuggling route from neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the past 20 years, thousands of policemen, soldiers and border guards have been killed in clashes with drug traffickers.