Iranian state TV says gunmen have killed three police officers in southern Iran near the Iraqi border.

Press TV says the shooting took place Thursday morning in the town of Hamidiyeh, some 550 kilometers (340 miles) southwest of the capital Tehran.

It quotes a local police chief as saying that a special police unit is searching for the gunmen.

The small town is close to Iraqi border in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, where police occasionally clash with smugglers. The province, which has a sizable Arab minority, has also seen deadly explosions which the government has blamed on Arab militants it says are backed by foreign powers.