TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse
Iran has arrested four people over the assassination of a prosecutor that an official said has been claimed by the separatist Kurdish group PJAK, the Mehr news agency reported on Tuesday.
Attackers on Monday gunned down Vali Haji-Gholizadeh, the prosecutor of the northwestern town of Khoy, on his doorstep.
"Unfortunately the hostile and terrorist group of PJAK claimed responsibility for the assassination of Khoy's prosecutor," Fakhrali Nikbakht, a local interior ministry official, was quoted as saying.
Ebrahim Mohammad Lou, governor of Khoy where security forces have been battling Kurdish separatists for years, said police had arrested four suspects.
PJAK, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, is closely allied with the Turkish Kurdish terrorist group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community.
According to Fars news agency, the slain prosecutor had been "threatened in the past few days."
The agency said the attackers fled the scene after the murder and apparently left behind no traces.
"[Haji-Gholizadeh] had a brilliant record in battling counter-revolutionaries, land-grabbing and moral corruption," Fars reported.
Northwestern Iran, which has a sizeable Kurdish population, has seen deadly fighting in recent years between Iranian security forces and PJAK members as well as other Kurdish rebels operating from bases in neighboring Iraq.
Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities.