State television says Iranian guards have killed 12 armed "suspects" in a shootout in the northwestern part of the country. The report on Thursday quoted Shahnam Rezai, spokesman of police in Western Azerbaijan province, as saying the suspects were part of a 40 member group who planned to carry out sabotage operations in Iran. Rezai says four Iranian border guards were also killed in the shootout. It took place near the Iraqi border and near the Iranian Kurdish town of Piranshahr, located about some 500 kilometers west of Teheran. The report did give a name for the group. Iran has been carrying out strikes against a Kurdish separatist group, known as the PEJAK. It is the Iranian wing of Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, of Turkey.