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Iran and Iraq exchange border fire

AFP

Iraqi border guards exchanged fire with Iranian troops along the two countries’ border yesterday, the first major incident between the two since Iran took over a disputed oil well in December.

An Iraqi officer was captured by the Islamic Republic’s forces in the 90-minute gunfight on the border with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, which was apparently sparked when Iranian troops mistook Iraqi soldiers for a Kurdish rebel group.

“Iranian forces thought that the border guards belonged to PJAK (the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan – an Iranian Kurdish rebel group) and started to open fire,” Brigadier General Ahmed Gharib Diskara, the head of Iraq’s border guards in Sulaimaniyah province, told reporters.