An Iraqi Kurdish borderguard stands near the closed gates of the Iranian side of the Iraq-Iran border post of Haj Omran
An Iraqi Kurdish borderguard stands near the closed gates of the Iranian side of the Iraq-Iran border post of Haj Omran, 2007. A 10-year-old Iraqi Kurd has been killed in shelling by Tehran's forces of Iranian Kurdish separatist bases in north Iraq. © Safin Hamed - AFP/File
An Iraqi Kurdish borderguard stands near the closed gates of the Iranian side of the Iraq-Iran border post of Haj Omran
AFP
Last updated: August 1, 2011

Iran shelling of Kurd rebels kills Iraqi boy

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A 10-year-old Iraqi Kurd has been killed in shelling by Tehran's forces of Iranian Kurdish separatist bases in north Iraq, an official said on Friday.

The boy was the third Iraqi to be killed in artillery bombardments as part of ongoing clashes between Iran and the rebel Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) which began two weeks ago.

"Mohammed Antar Zerrar, who is 10 years old, was killed on Thursday evening at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) by Iranian shelling of the village of Battas," Maghdid Aref Ahmed, the mayor of the nearby border town of Haj Omran in Iraqi Kurdistan, told journalists.

On Monday, two villagers in the town of Sidakan, also in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, were killed by Iranian shelling.

Overall, since Iran launched an offensive against PJAK bases on July 16, three Iraqis have been killed and 11 wounded, officials have said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday the fighting has displaced hundreds of villagers in the border regions of northern Iraq.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Wednesday demanded that Iran stop the shelling, saying they damage ties between the two neighbouring states.

"We again demand that the Iranian government stop its continuing shelling" of the separatist PJAK "because this is not constructive for Iraq-Iranian relations and damages ties," he told reporters.

"The shelling has continued (off-and-on) for five years, but this time the duration has been longer than previous instances," he added.

He said the shelling was "random" and damaged farmland in the rural region.

State-run media in Tehran reported on the same day Zebari made his remarks that Iran would continue the operation until Iraq deployed forces along the frontier to prevent cross-border attacks by PJAK rebels.

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