Iran reports death of another Revolutionary Guard colonel

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran reported the death of another colonel of the elite Quds force of its Revolutionary Guards on Friday, the second in two weeks from the unit which oversees Iran’s military operations abroad.

Quoting an unknown official, the early morning report by the official IRNA news agency said Col. Ali Esmailzadeh died during an “incident in his residence” days ago in city of Karaj, some 35 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran.

It did not elaborate but denied reports that the colonel was assassinated.

Other news channels close to the Guard said Esmailzadeh fell from his rooftop or balcony. In May two unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei five times in a car in front of his residence in Tehran.

Iran blamed his slaying on the United States and its allies, including Israel. Iran traditionally blames Israel for such targeted killings, including those on nuclear scientists over the past years.

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