Suicide bomber kills at least 39 at Iran mosque

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Suicide bomber kills at least 39 at Iran mosque

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in the Iranian city of Chabahar on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 50 as Shias marked the climax of Ashura, officials said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2010, 5:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 6:16 AM

‘According to the latest casualty toll, 39 people were killed and 50 wounded by the blast which struck near Farmandari Square among worshippers who were taking part in a procession,’ Red Crescent official Mahmoud Mozafar told the ILNA news agency.

‘An individual walked up to some Red Crescent ambulances and blew himself up,’ Mozafar added.

A pathologist cited by the official IRNA news agency said 38 bodies had been brought to the town’s mortuary, among them women and children.

The prefect of Chabahar Ali Bateni denied earlier reports that there had been two explosions and said there had been two, not three, attackers.

‘There were two terrorists who were spotted before they carried out their attack but one of them managed to detonate his explosive vest,’ he told IRNA.

‘The ringleader of this terrorist action has been arrested.’

State media said that the bomber struck in the main square outside the Imam Hossein mosque in the southeastern city.

The attack came on the eve of the final day of Ashura, one of the high points of the Shia calendar when large crowds of worshippers gather in mosques across Iran.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s bombing but over the past decade, Jundallah has claimed many deadly attacks on Iranian security forces as well as assaults that have led to civilian deaths.

In July, it claimed responsibility for an attack on the Grand Mosque in the provincial capital Zahedan that targeted members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps and killed 28 people.

Last month, the United States officially designated Jundallah a foreign terrorist organisation, drawing a cautious welcome from Iran which had previously accused Washington of supporting the group.

Iranian officials renewed the allegation on Wednesday.

The head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Alaeddin Borujerdi, accused the ‘intelligence services of the United States and Britain’ of being behind the attack, the ISNA news agency reported.

Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said the ‘equipment used shows that they are terrorists supported by the intelligence services of the region and the US,’ IRNA reported.

The authorities have cracked down hard on Jundallah, arresting many suspected members and executing its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in June.

A month before his execution, his brother Abdolhamid was also executed on charges of ‘terrorism.’

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