Angry mob storms a police station in Zahedan city of the southeastern province, leading to firefight and many casualties including an intelligence officer of elite Revolutionary Guard.

Iran, which has blamed
Iran, which has blamed "foreign enemies" for women-led protests arrested nine European nationals for their role in the ongoing unrest. (Reuters Archive)

A Revolutionary Guard colonel is among 19 people killed during heavy gun battles in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

"Nineteen people were killed and 20 wounded in the incident," regional governor Hossein Khiabani told the state broadcaster late on Friday. 

"Provincial intelligence officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Colonel Ali Mousavi was also killed," state television added.

Earlier on Friday, state media reported that security forces had returned fire when a police station in the provincial capital Zahedan came under attack by gunmen.

"A number of police members, as well as passers-by, have been injured in the exchange of fire," the state broadcaster said.

Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Balochi minority and militant groups.

READ MORE:Iran ups pressure on celebrities, media over Mahsa Amini protests

European citizens arrested 

It was not immediately clear whether the clashes were connected to the wave of unrest that has swept Iran since the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody earlier this month.

Iran, which has blamed "foreign enemies" for women-led protests said on Friday it had arrested nine European nationals for their role in the unrest.

The detention of citizens of Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries is likely to ratchet up tensions between Iran and Western countries.

Tehran has responded to international condemnation of the case by lashing out at its critics, accusing the United States of exploiting the unrest to try to destabilise Iran.

READ MORE: Foreigners detained in Iran as protests continue over Amini's death

Source: TRTWorld and agencies