Four members of terrorist Jundallah group killed by Iranian police

(By Margarita Snegireva) Four suspects in terrorism were killed by Iranian police in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

The four who allegedly were "leaders of a terrorist group" were killed in clashes with police, no details were provided, said the TV report.

It is still unknown what group the suspects belonged to. The TV report quoted the provincial intelligence department saying they were "involved in many terrorist and sabotage activities in the country."

A Sunni Muslim militant group called Jundallah, which is believed to be al-Qaida-backed, has been suspected in some attacks against Iranian troops and is known to be active in the province.

In February, Iran hanged a member of the group, convicted of a bombing that same month that killed 11 members of the Revolutionary Guards in Zahedan, the provincial capital.

Also, 12 persons suspected of terrorist activities were reported killed in a shootout with security forces earlier this month in Sistan-Baluchistan.

Iran has repeatedly accused the U.S. of backing militants and ethnic opposition groups to destabilize the Iranian government. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have long been high, amid allegations of Iranian involvement in attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq , and Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

A majority of Iran's population is Shiite Muslim but minority Sunnis live in southeastern Iran, a region plagued by lawlessness. The area, near Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a key crossing point for narcotics, often seeing clashes between police and drug gangs.

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