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Iran: Two aerospace officials 'martyred while on mission'

The two men are reported to have died in separate incidents inside the country
The Semnan Space Centre is home to the Iranian Space Agency's satellite launch site and ballistic missile testing (AFP)

Two Iranian aerospace officials, including a member of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were "martyred while on mission" in separate incidents inside the country, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

Ali Kamani, a member of the Guards aerospace division was "martyred" in the city of Khomein in Iran's central Markazi province, Fars said, quoting an IRGC statement, which gave no further details.

Iran International, a London-based Iranian opposition news agency, said on Sunday that Kamani had died in a car accident.

In a separate incident, Mohammad Abdous, 33, an aerospace staff member, died in the northern Semnan province on Sunday while on a "mission", Fars added.

The Semnan Space Centre is home to the Iranian Space Agency's satellite launch site and ballistic missile testing.

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Two weeks ago, Colonel Ali Esmailzadeh, a commander of the IRGC's external operations unit, the Quds Force, died "in an accident in his home," according to state news agency IRNA.

On 22 May, IRGC Colonel Sayyad Khodai, 50, was killed outside his home in the east of the Iranian capital after attackers on motorbikes shot him five times.

The IRGC accused "Zionists" of being behind the high-profile assassination of Khodai and vowed revenge.

The New York Times later reported that Israel had told the United States that it was behind the killing of Khodai. 

The US newspaper cited an anonymous "intelligence official briefed on the communications".

Iran's state television has said that Khodai was a member of the Quds Force and that he was "known" in Syria, where Iran has acknowledged deploying "military advisers".

The IRGC described Khodai as a "defender of the sanctuary", a term used for those who work on behalf of Tehran in Syria or Iraq.

The IRGC are designated as a terrorist group by the US.

On Sunday, an Israeli source told the Haaretz newspaper that Turkey had exposed an Iranian ring that planned to attack Israeli targets in Turkey.

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