The story appears on

Page A3

October 19, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

At least 31 die in Iran bomb blast

A SUICIDE bomber killed five senior commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guard and at least 26 others in an area of southeastern Iran that has been at the center of a simmering Sunni insurgency, state media reported yesterday.

The official IRNA news agency said the dead included the deputy commander of the guard's ground force, General Noor Ali Shooshtari, and a chief provincial guard commander for the area, Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh.

The other dead were guard members or local tribal leaders. More than two dozen others were wounded, state radio reported.

The commanders were on their way to a meeting with tribal leaders in the Pishin district near Iran's border with Pakistan when an attacker with explosives around his waist blew himself up, IRNA said. The explosion occurred at the entrance of a sports complex where the meeting was to be held.

Top provincial prosecutor Mohammad Marzieh was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying that a militant group from Iran's Sunni Muslim minority called Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, claimed responsibility.

The group accuses Iran's Shiite-dominated government of persecution and has carried out attacks against the Revolutionary Guard and Shiite targets in the southeast.

Iranian officials have accused Jundallah of receiving support from al-Qaida and the Taliban in Pakistan, though some analysts who have studied the group dispute this.

The latest violence appeared to have no connection with the street unrest triggered by the dispute over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election in June.

Ahmadinejad vowed to strike back at those behind yesterday's attack.

"The criminals will soon get a response for their anti-human crimes," IRNA quoted him as saying. Ahmadinejad also accused unspecified foreigners of involvement.

Iranian officials have often raised concerns that the United States might try to incite members of Iran's many ethnic and religious minorities against the Shiite-led government, dominated by ethnic Persians.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the US condemned what he called an "act of terrorism." Reports of alleged American involvement were "completely false," he said.

The Revolutionary Guard controls Iran's missile program and has its own ground, naval and air units.

Iran's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, condemned yesterday's bombing, saying it was aimed at disrupting security in southeastern Iran.

"We express our condolences for their martyrdom, Larijani told an open session of parliament broadcast live on state radio.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend