Wednesday, December 15, 2010
At least 39 killed by suicide attack in Southeast Iran, claimed by Jundallah
A suicide attack has killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 100 others near a mosque in the southeastern Iranian city of Chabahar as Shias marked the aproach the climax of Ashoura, the commemoration of the death Hussein, of the grandson of the prophet Mohammed.
Arabiyya tv reported that two suicide bombers were involved. One detonated himslef in front of the mosque, the other one attacked inside it.
According to Al-Arabiyya tv the attack has been claimd by an armed Sunni group, Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, which has waged earlier attacks to fight alleged discrimination against the area's Sunni minority in overwhelmingly Shia Iran. In July, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in the same province, Sistan-Baluchestan, killing at least 28 people. Jundallah said that attack was revenge for the execution of its leader, Abdulmalik Rigi, who was hanged in June. The Iranian authorities captured him in February by diverting the plane on which he was traveling from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan. In May also Abdulmalik's younger brother Abdol Hamid was hanged.
Iranian officials claim Jundallah, which has operated from bases in Pakistan, receives support from Western powers, including the United States. Washington denies any links to the group, and in November the State Department added Jundallah to a U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The group has also targeted members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the country's most powerful military force. In its deadliest attack, a suicide bomber hit a meeting between Guard commanders and Shiite and Sunni tribal leaders in the border town of Pishin in October 2009, killing 42 people, including 15 Guard members.