At least 50 Iranian servicemen have been killed on Iran’s borders in the past three years, Ham-Mihan newspaper in Tehran reported Sunday.
The information was published one day after two Iranian soldiers died during clashes with Afghanistan’s Taliban forces on the eastern borders of the country.
The newspaper quoted a former lawmaker representing the restive eastern Sistan-Baluchistan province as saying that he had urged the armed forces and law enforcement during his tenure in parliament to station servicemen from local regions on the border, who know the culture and the terrain.
Soldiers from other areas of the vast country and cities are totally unfamiliar with the dangerous regions on Pakistan and Afghanistan borders, where a lot of drug smuggling takes place.
The lawmaker added that on occasions Iranian soldiers “got so disoriented that by mistake they entered Pakistani territory and into traps set for them.”
Sistan-Baluchistan, with a hot and arid climate, is populated by less than 3 million people, most of whom are ethnic Baluch who are Sunni Muslims, in contrast with the Shiite majority in Iran. Poverty and under-development plague the region.
The Sunni Baluch rallied against the government in September 2022, when nationwide protests engulfed Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini in hijab police custody. Security forces killed nearly 90 civilians in Zahedan, the center of the province on September 30 and weekly protests continue for equality and freedoms.