A group of Kolbars from the Iranian side trying to carry goods and commercial items to sell on both sides of Iraq-Iran border. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Clashes have continued between Iranian regime forces and Kurds in western Iran's Kurdish areas near the border with Turkey.
Three "Kurdish traders," locally known as kolbars, were shot by the Iranian regime in Urmia Province, the Kurdish Hawar News agency reported on Tuesday.
Additionally, Hawar reported traders were fired upon in Kaiman Bahurman village. One was wounded, while others were arrested and had their goods seized.
In Zanjan province a Kurdish trader from Suqis was "seriously wounded," according to Hawar, while also carrying goods.
The reports of violence come after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said acccording to the country's semi-official Fars News on Monday that an Iranian border guard was killed and four others were injured in Maku, Iran, near the border with Turkey.
Turkey claimed the attack was conducted by forces from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"PKK terrorists were behind the incident in which several other people were also injured," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, as reported by Fars and Turkey's Daily Sabah media.
Daily Sabah also blamed the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), the Iranian wing of the PKK.
"The survivors sought help from the Turkish side and the injured were airlifted to hospitals here," reported Daily Sabah. "A soldier succumbed to his wounds at the hospital. Others are recovering from their injuries."
The Turkish media agency reported the injured included "engineeers working on an irrigation project" and "soldiers were providing security."
Several armed Kurdish groups are active in the mountainous border region between Turkey, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region.
Kolbars are semi-legal porters who carry goods on their backs across the mountains and often must take dangerous routes to avoid detection by Iranian authorities.