The shooting of at least two people carrying fuel across the border has led to protests in southeast Iran.
Iran is investigating an incident in which at least two Iranians were shot dead this week on the border with Pakistan, and Islamabad has handed over the body of one of the victims, Iran’s foreign ministry said.
Monday’s shooting of at least two people carrying fuel across the border led to protests that spread from the town of Saravan to other parts of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, including the capital , Zahedan.
A provincial security official said calm had returned to the province with the help of religious leaders. The media quoted prominent Baloch Sunni religious leader Molavi Abdulhamid as calling for calm and calling for an independent investigation.
“The body of at least one person was delivered by Pakistani border guards. We are examining the incident, ”Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday, quoted by Iranian media.
Human Rights Watch said Monday’s shooting in the border area near the town of Saravan killed at least 10 people and injured five, citing Baluch rights activists.
“Iranian authorities should urgently conduct a transparent and impartial investigation into the shootings at the Saravan border,” said Tara Sepehri Far, researcher at HRW Iran.
“The authorities should hold those responsible for wrongdoing to account, compensate victims appropriately and ensure that border guards take the greatest possible care to respect the right to life and other human rights. “
Protesters stormed a governor’s office in southeast Iran on Tuesday and set a police car on fire, videos posted on social media said. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The Reuters news agency could not verify the authenticity of the images.
The population of Sistan-Balochistan is predominantly Sunni Muslims, while most Iranians are Shiites. Iran has one of the lowest fuel prices in the world and combats smuggling to neighboring countries.
HRW said the lack of job opportunities in the province left its people of Baloch descent with few alternatives to black market trading with their fellow Baloch people across the border.
“Similar to the western provinces of West Azerbaijan and Kurdistan (on the border with Iraq), its lack of economic opportunities has led many residents to engage in illegal cross-border trade with Pakistan,” said the New York-based watchdog.