Conscripted soldiers in Iran

Soldier Kills Officer, Civilian Near Tehran; Dies In Police Pursuit

Saturday, 02/10/2024

A conscript soldier turned into an assailant in a town near Tehran killing a law enforcement officer and a civilian before being killed in a police pursuit.

According to the Public Relations Office of the Alborz Province Police Command, the soldier, serving in the rescue unit, opened fire on a fellow unit member for reasons yet unknown, killing him. Subsequently, he proceeded to shoot and kill another civilian, hijacking his vehicle in the process.

IRNA reported that “law enforcement ordered the soldier to halt, but he ignored the commands, prompting officers to open fire. In the ensuing chaos, the soldier's vehicle overturned, leading to his death.”

The Alborz Police Command stated that the cause of the incident remains unclear and is currently under investigation.

The event follows a similar incident on February 1, when a soldier and an employee of the Pakdasht police station, east of Tehran were mistakenly killed in an “accidental shooting”.

The incident sheds light on the persistent issue of suicide and violence among soldiers in Iran, with numerous cases reported over the years. While exact statistics on soldier suicides are unavailable, media and social activists in Iran have raised concerns about the rising trend.

In a report two years ago, Shargh newspaper highlighted that besides actual suicides, around 15 percent of soldiers have suicidal thoughts, reflecting a troubling reality.

Compulsory military service in Iran, spanning nearly a century, adds to the complexity of the situation. An estimated three million soldiers are currently considered fugitives from service, with over 317,000 conscripts entering service last year alone.

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