Thursday, July 15, 2010

Deaths in Iran mosque attack

Two explosions at a mosque in southeastern Iran have killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100 others in suicide attacks, Iranian officials say.

The blasts late on Thursday targeted Shia Muslim worshippers and Revolutionary Guards members in the predominantly Sunni city of Zahedan, Sistan-Baluchestan province, the Fars news agency quoted Iran's deputy interior minister as saying.

"Hours ago, a suicide operation was carried out in the Jamia mosque, which left several martyrs and several wounded," the agency quoted Ali Abdollahi as saying.

"The first explosion took place behind a checkpoint and a number of Revolutionary Guard members were killed and injured because of it."

'Co-ordinated attacks'

Hossein Ali Shahriari, a Zahedan member of parliament, told Fars that there were two suicide attacks one after another, with the first one carried out by a bomber dressed as a woman.

"The attacker, dressed in women's clothing, was trying to get in the mosque, but was prevented" when the first blast took place, Shahriari said.

"When people came to rescue those hit in that blast, another bomber blew himself up. Three to four have been killed at least in the first attack."

Zahedan has been repeatedly hit by attacks blamed on Jundallah(Soldiers of God), a Sunni rebel group which plays on feelings of resentment among ethnic Baluchis in the province and whose leader Abdolmalek Rigi was hanged on June 20after he was captured in a dramatic operation by Iranian agents.

Soon after his death, the group vowed to avenge his execution.

Jundallah has carried out several deadly attacks in Sistan-Baluchestan- including on the elite Revolutionary Guardscorps.

The group says it has been fighting for nearly a decade to secure rights for Sunni Baluchis who form a significant proportion of the population in the province.


No comments:

Post a Comment