General Jabbar Yavar

The Kurdistan Regional Government says seven Iranian soldiers were killed by landmines on Thursday.

General Jabbar Yavar, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government, told Zamaneh’s correspondent: “Yesterday, a border forces vehicle entered a land-mine field in the Iran-Iraq border region and seven Iranian soldiers were killed.”

General Yavar added that the explosions took place on Iranian territory, and the minefield had been recently planted by Iranians to protect their border bases.

He said the vehicle entered the field by mistake when forces were being replaced.

General Yavar added that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KGR) has not planted any land mines, and any mines that may be in their territory are leftovers from the eight-year Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Kurdistan security officials say Iran has established several military bases in the Iran-Iraq border region in recent years.

Jabbar Yavar said Iran’s use of landmines is a preventive measure to keep “armed individuals and smugglers” from entering Iranian territory.

Iranian authorities have not reacted to the KGR statements about the death of seven Iranian soldiers.

According to official statistics, Iran has 16 million landmines. Most of them date back to the Iran-Iraq War.

Iran has not joined the Ottawa Agreement to end the use of land mines, which was signed by 158 countries, including several of Iran’s neighbours, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.