Report: Iranian police kill five drug smugglers in shootout

Iranian police killed five alleged drug traffickers in a shootout in the country's southeastern province of Kerman, state television reported on Friday. The incident occurred about 1,000 kilometers southeast of the capital, Teheran, the report said, in a mountainous area that has frequently witnessed clashes between police and gangs of drug smugglers. The report said police also confiscated some 1.5 metric tons (1.65 tons) of drugs after the clash. Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states, and confiscation of large amounts of narcotics is common. Every year, Iran burns some 60 metric tons (66 tons) of seized narcotics as a symbol of its determination to fight drugs. In 2006, Iranian authorities seized about 300 metric tons (330 tons) of narcotics.