Guard of Iranian President Killed

Bandits killed a guard of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hours before the leader visited southeastern Iran this week, state-run television reported Saturday.

The broadcast said another guard and a driver were wounded in Thursday's assault on a road 1,240 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran. The guards were making security checks in the area several hours before Ahmadinejad passed in a motorcade, the report said.

The motive for the attack was unclear. Officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ahmadinejad provoked an international stir during the three-day trip to the region when he called the Holocaust a "myth" used as a pretext for carving out a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim world. The interior minister said Friday that Western governments had "misunderstood" the comments.

The president ended his tour to the area Friday.

Eastern Iran has been the scene of frequent police clashes with drug smugglers and bandits. Iran is located on a major drug route between Afghanistan, the world's largest supplier of heroin and opium, and Europe.