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Thread: Bombing Kills At Least 29, Iranian Media Report

  1. #1
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    Jan 2005

    Bombing Kills At Least 29, Iranian Media Report

    Bombing kills at least 29, Iranian media report

    updated 8:39 p.m. EDT, Sun October 18, 2009

    TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- A man carrying explosives blew himself up as participants headed to a conference between Shia and Sunni groups in southeastern Iran on Sunday, killing at least 29 people, Iranian media reported.

    The blast in Sarbaz in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan wounded 28 others, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

    Among those killed were five senior officers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, Fars said.

    Other media outlets offered conflicting figures for the number of dead and wounded.

    Among the officers killed was Nour-Ali Shoushtari, the deputy head of the Corps' ground forces, who was in the province to mediate between the two sides, Fars said.

    The terrorist group Jundallah -- also known as the People's Resistance Movement of Iran -- claimed responsibility for the attack, according to state-run Press TV.

    In the past, the predominantly Shiite central government in Tehran has accused Jundallah of fomenting unrest in the province. Iran has alleged that the United States and Saudi Arabia are funding the group. Jundallah says that it is fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims in the country.

    Earlier, Iran pointed the finger at the United States without disclosing its reasons.

    "We consider this recent terrorist act to be the result of the U.S. actions and this is a sign of their enmity," said parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.

    A U.S. State Department spokesman said the accusation was "completely false."

    "We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives. Reports of alleged U.S. involvement are completely false," Ian Kelly told CNN.

    The United Kingdom also condemned the attack.

    "The British Government condemns the terrorist attack ... in Iran and the sad loss of life which it caused," the Foreign Office said in a statement. "Terrorism is abhorrent wherever it occurs. Our sympathies go to those who have been killed or injured in the attack and their families."

    "We reject in the strongest terms any assertion that this was anything to do with the U.K.," the Foreign Office said later in response to reports Iran was accusing London of responsibility.

    However, the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency reported that Pakistan's ambassador was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, where he was directed to tell his government to expedite efforts to arrest people on the other side of the border who may be responsible for the attack.

    "We have heard that some of the government agents in Pakistan, actually collaborate with the supporters of this savage act of terrorism and we see it as very much within our rights to demand that they turn those criminals over to our Nation," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, according to Islamic Republic News Agency. Watch report on Iran's response to Sunday's suicice bombing »

    The Pakistani government didn't directly respond to Ahmadinejad's remarks, but Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari "strongly condemned the suicide attack," according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.

    Zardari also said he planned to work with Iran to "curb militancy and exterminate militants," APP reported.

    The attack was one of the largest in recent years on the Revolutionary Guard.

    Three days of public mourning will begin Monday in Sistan-Baluchestan, IRNA reported.

    Around the same time of the blast in Sarbaz, a second group of Corps' commanders was caught in an explosion when their convoy came under attack at a road intersection between the towns of Sarbaz and Chabahar, state-run Press TV said.

    The station did not say whether the second attack resulted in casualties.

    The Guard was initially created to protect the leaders of the revolution. But over the years, it has broadened its scope. Today, it is directly under the control of the supreme leader and enforces the governments' Islamic codes and morality.

    With an estimated 200,000-plus members, it is tasked with overseeing the country's crucial interests, including guarding its oil fields and missile arsenals.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
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    Jan 2005
    Iran Warns U.S., U.K. of Retaliation After Attack,2933,568482,00.html

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    The chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Monday accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan of having links with the Sunni militants responsible for a homicide bombing that killed five senior Guard commanders and 37 others.

    "Behind this scene are the American and British intelligence apparatus and there will have to be retaliatory measures to punish them," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said, vowing a "crushing" response.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said those behind Sunday's bombing are hiding across the border in Pakistan, and in a phone call with his Pakistani counterpart on Monday he demanded their arrest.

    "The presence of terrorist elements in Pakistan is not justifiable and the Pakistani government needs to help arrest and punish the criminals as soon as possible," state TV quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Asif Ali Zardari.

    Earlier Monday, an Iranian military official went as far as to raise the prospect of a possible military offensive into Pakistan against the group blamed for the attack.

    "There is even unanimity that these operations (could) take place in Pakistan territory," the ISNA news agency quoted MP Payman Forouzesh as saying.

    The Sunni rebel group known as Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, has waged a low-level insurgency in Iran's southeast to protest what it says is the government's persecution of an ethnic minority there claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack. The claim was posted Monday on an Islamic Web site that usually publishes Al Qaeda statements. Its authenticity could not be verified.

    The official IRNA news agency said Sunday the dead included the deputy commander of the Guard's ground force, Gen. Noor Ali Shooshtari, as well as 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 headquarters of Iran's armed forces blamed the bombing on "terrorists" backed by "the Great Satan America and its ally Britain," Fars News Agency said Sunday.

    "Not in the distant future we will take revenge," Iran's statement read, according to Reuters. Iran's forces claim the country "will clear this region from terrorists and criminals."

    "The global arrogance, with the provocation of its local mercenaries, targeted the meeting of the Guard with local tribal leaders," said the Guard statement read out on state TV.

    The United States, however, condemned the attacks on Sunday and denied any involvement.

    "We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives. Reports of alleged U.S. involvement are completely false," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a brief statement.

    The Revoutionary Guard commanders were inside a car on their way to a meeting with local tribal leaders in the Pishin district near Iran's border with Pakistan when an attacker with explosives blew himself up, IRNA said.

    Iran's state-owned English language TV channel, Press TV, said there were two simultaneous explosions: one at the meeting and another targeting an additional convoy of Guards on their way to the gathering.

    The region's top prosecutor was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency as saying the Sunni rebel group Jundallah claimed responsibility for the blast.

    There was no immediate statement directly from the group.

    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.

    That campaign is one of several ethnic and religious small-scale insurgencies in Iran that have fueled sporadic and sometimes deadly attacks in recent years — though none have amounted to a serious threat to the government.

    The Guard commanders targeted Sunday were heading to a meeting with local tribal leaders to promote unity between the Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.

    In April, Iran increased security in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, at the center of the tension, by placing it under the command of the Guard, which took over from local police forces.

    The 120,000-strong Revolutionary Guard controls Iran's missile program and has its own ground, naval and air units.

    Iran's parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, condemned the assassination of the Guard commanders, saying the bombing was aimed at disrupting security in southeastern Iran.

    "We express our condolences for their martyrdom. ... The intention of the terrorists was definitely to disrupt security in Sistan-Baluchistan
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #3
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    Jan 2005
    US condemns Iran bombing; denies involvement

    (AFP) – 19 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — The United States on Sunday condemned a suicide bombing that struck Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, and denied any involvement in the attack.

    "We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives," State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement.

    "Reports of alleged US involvement are completely false," he added.

    The US reaction followed Sunday's attack in which a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Revolutionary Guard meeting in southeastern Iran Sunday, killing at least 30 people including top commanders and tribal leaders.

    The attack took place in the city of Pisheen near the border with Pakistan in restive Sistan-Baluchestan province, which hosts a substantial Sunni population, local news agencies said.

    Iran's parliament speaker accused the United States as having had a hand in the attack, while the Guards accused Western powers of complicity.

    The attack is the deadliest against the elite unit since a bombing in February 2007 in the same province killed 13 people.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #4
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    Jan 2005
    Iran Says U.S., Britain Behind Attack

    Published: October 19, 2009

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Iranian officials claimed Monday that they had evidence of American and British involvement in the country’s worst suicide bombing attacks in years, raising tensions as Iran meets with Western nations for another round of delicate talks on its nuclear program.

    At least five commanders of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed and dozens of other people were left dead and wounded on Sunday in two bombings in the restive southeast along Iran’s frontier with Pakistan, according to Iranian state news agencies.

    The coordinated strike, one of the largest against the Guards in the region, appeared to mark an escalation in hostilities between Iran’s leadership and the Baluchi ethnic minority. Iranian officials accused foreign enemies of supporting the insurgents, singling out the intelligence agencies of United States, Britain and Pakistan.

    Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Guards’ commander in chief, told the semiofficial ISNA agency on Monday: “Behind this scene are the American and British intelligence apparatus, and there will have to be retaliatory measures to punish them,” adding that Iran had documents proving their and Pakistani involvement.

    The Baluchi insurgent group Jundallah — or Soldiers of God — took responsibility for the bombings, which included a suicide attack on a community meeting led by Revolutionary Guards and a roadside attack on a car full of Guards, both in the area of the city of Pishin.

    Jundallah, whose members are Sunni Muslims, has claimed responsibility for other attacks in the region in recent years, and is believed to have killed hundreds of Iranian soldiers and civilians. The southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan has been the scene of attacks in the past, and in April the government put the Guards Corps in control of security there to try to stop the escalating violence.

    The official Fars news agency reported Monday that the attacks killed 42 people and wounded 28 others. It was unclear how many civilians were killed, but several tribal leaders were among the dead, other official media reports said.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised “that those who committed such criminal and inhuman acts will receive their response soon,” the state-run Press TV reported.

    Iranian officials said they had evidence the attack was launched from within Pakistan, where Jundallah is based, and the Foreign Ministry late Sunday summoned Pakistan’s chargé d’affaires, Press TV said.

    A Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, told the Daily Times newspaper: “Pakistan is not involved in terrorist activities,” adding, “We are striving to eradicate this menace.”

    Ali Larijani, the speaker of Parliament, said the United States bore some responsibility for the attacks. “If they want relations with Iran, they must be frank,” he said, according to the semiofficial ISNA news service, adding, “We consider the recent terrorist measure the outcome of the U.S. measures.”

    In the past, Iranian officials have accused the United States of financing and arming Jundallah.

    The United States condemned the bombings and denied any connection with them. “We condemn this act of terrorism and mourn the loss of innocent lives,” said Ian C. Kelly, a State Department spokesman. “Reports of alleged U.S. involvement are completely false.”

    The British government rejects “in the strongest terms” allegations that it aided rebels, a foreign office spokesperson told Reuters Monday.

    The bombers struck early Sunday as the Guards prepared to bring regional Shiite and Sunni leaders together for a conference in Pishin to try to improve relations among the different communities, according to the Iranian news reports.

    In one attack, a suicide bomber wearing a military uniform and an explosive belt entered a mosque where Guard commanders were organizing a reconciliation meeting, according to the semiofficial ILNA news service.

    In the second attack, a car carrying a group of Guards members was bombed, state news agencies said.

    According to the Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Guards, those killed included the lieutenant commander of ground forces, Brig. Gen. Nourali Shoushtari, as well as the commanders of Sistan-Baluchistan province, the Iranshahr Corps, the Sarbaz Corps and the Amiralmoemenin Brigade.

    The Baluchis, who are mostly Sunni, are one of many ethnic and religious minorities who have complained of discrimination in Iran, a predominantly Shiite Muslim and ethnically Persian nation.

    Jundallah, which says it is fighting for greater autonomy for Baluchis in Iran and Pakistan, bombed a Shiite mosque in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan, in May, killing 25 people. Jundallah rebels abducted and killed 16 Iranian soldiers late last year, and bombed a bus carrying Guards members in 2007, killing 11.

    Iranian authorities hanged 13 members of the group in May, and have executed others previously.

    Mustafa El-Labbad, director of the East Center for Regional and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said ethnic and sectarian divisions made the region particularly volatile. “There is the Baluchi versus Persian, and there is Sunni versus Shiite,” he said. “It also lies on the border with Pakistan, which is not totally secured — weapons can come through. So there is a very explosive blend there.”

    The Guards have emerged as the most powerful political, social and economic bloc in the nation, eclipsing even the clergy and the conservatives. In the aftermath of Iran’s contested presidential election, the Guards took control of national security, overseeing a violent crackdown on protests as well as mass arrests of protesters and critics.

    In this context, Mr. Labbad said, an attack on the Guards — no matter the motivation — has symbolic resonance. “It is designed to affect the image of Iran,” he said.

    Iranian officials are due to meet Monday in Vienna with officials of several countries to discuss an accord to ship uranium to Russia for enrichment, part of an effort by the West to try to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #5
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    Jan 2005
    Iran threatens Britain and U.S. after Guard bombing


    TEHRAN (Reuters) – The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Monday vowed to "retaliate" against the United States and Britain after accusing them of backing the perpetrators of a suicide bombing that killed six Guards commanders.

    Iranian media say the Sunni Muslim insurgent group Jundollah (God's soldiers) has claimed responsibility for Sunday's bombing in Sistan-Baluchestan province, which killed 42 people in all.

    The incident threatened to overshadow talks between Iran and global powers in Vienna on Monday intended to tackle a standoff about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iranian security officials had presented documents indicating "direct ties" from Jundollah to U.S., British and, "unfortunately," Pakistani intelligence organizations, the ISNA news agency said.

    "Behind this scene are the American and British intelligence apparatus, and there will have to be retaliatory measures to punish them," Jafari was quoted as saying.

    Jundollah, which has been blamed for many attacks since 2005 in the desert province bordering Pakistan, says it is fighting to end discrimination against Sunni Muslims by Iran's dominant Shi'ites. Its leader is Abdolmalek Rigi.

    "This person himself and his plans are undoubtedly under the umbrella and the protection of these (U.S., British and Pakistani) organizations," Jafari said.

    Iranian television quoted General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the Guards' ground forces, whose deputy was killed in the bombing, as saying:

    "The base of the terrorists and rebels has not been in Iran. They are trained by America and Britain in some of the neighboring countries."

    The United States, Pakistan and Britain have all condemned the bombing, the bloodiest attack in Iran since the 1980-88 war with Iraq, and denied involvement.

    "We reject in the strongest terms any assertion that this attack has anything to do with Britain," said a spokeswoman at Britain's Foreign Office. "Terrorism is abhorrent wherever it occurs."

    The bombing of a mosque in Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchestan, reportedly also claimed by Jundollah, killed 25 people in May.

    The underdeveloped desert province, mostly populated by Sunni Muslims, borders both Pakistan and Afghanistan and has frequently been the scene of clashes between security forces, ethnic Baluch Sunni insurgents and heavily-armed drug smugglers.

    The victims of the bombing in the city of Sarbaz included two employees of the state broadcaster IRIB, the company said, and number of tribal chiefs who were due to hold a meeting with the Guards to promote Shi'ite-Sunni unity. The Guards said the attack was aimed at fomenting sectarian strife.

    The incident raised tension between Iran and major powers ahead of nuclear talks at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

    On the agenda was a proposal that Iran send low enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment, to be used in a reactor where it produces medical isotopes.

    Ali Shirzadian, spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said on Monday that Tehran would carry out the supplementary enrichment itself if there was no agreement in its talks with Russia, France and the United States.

    Analysts say Iran's governing hardliners may use the bombing incident as an excuse to further clamp down on moderate opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed re-election in June sparked huge opposition protests.

    The Guards force, whose influence has increased since Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005, played a key role in suppressing the street protests after the election.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered Moscow's cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism in a letter to Ahmadinejad, Medvedev's press service said.

    "We are ready to cooperate with Iran in countering these threats," he wrote.

    Ahmadinejad urged Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in a telephone call to help find the perpetrators of the attack, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.

    Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told the Daily Times newspaper: "Pakistan is not involved in terrorist activities ... we are striving to eradicate this menace."

    Pakistan has backed armed Sunni Muslim groups in the past, particularly in Afghanistan.

    Relations between Iran and Pakistan have been generally good in recent years and the neighbors are cooperating on plans to build a natural gas pipeline link. But Iran has in the past said Jundollah members have been operating out of Pakistan.

    Some analysts believe Jundollah has evolved through shifting alliances with parties including the Taliban and Pakistan's ISI intelligence service, who saw it as a tool to use against Iran.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
    Iran claims US, UK and Pakistan responsible for deadly bombing, vows revenge

    By Raw Story
    Monday, October 19th, 2009 -- 8:00 pm

    Iran on Monday accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan of involvement in a devastating suicide bombing which killed more than 40 people and struck at the heart of its security apparatus.

    The Islamic republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pointed a finger of blame at US intelligence, ISNA news agency reported.

    "This terrorist crime revealed the evil face of enemies of security and unity who are supported by intelligence organizations of some arrogant governments," he said, using Iran's term for the United States.

    Israeli publication YNet News reported that the Iranians vowed to retaliate, adding: "A commentary by the official news agency called on Iranian security forces 'to seriously deal with Pakistan once and for all.'"

    Washington has denied any involvement while condemning Sunday's attack and loss of life as an act of terrorism.

    An Iranian general accused Pakistan, Britain and the United States of aiding Sunni rebels behind the suicide attack near the Pakistani border that counted seven military commanders among the 42 dead.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, separately charged that those behind the bombing were in Pakistan and needed to be "quickly confronted."

    The suicide bomber blew himself up at a meeting of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards and local tribesmen in Iran's restive Sistan-Baluchestan province, a hotbed of Sunni insurgency.

    Tehran said he attack at a gymnasium in the town of Pisheen was claimed by Sunni militant rebel leader Abdolmalek Rigi, whose Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group has for years been waging war against the Shiite rule of Iran.

    The head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Monday that an Iranian delegation would head to Pakistan to deliver "proof" that Islamabad was supporting Rigi.

    "The delegation will ask for him (Rigi) to be handed over," Jafari was quoted as saying by ISNA.

    Jafari also charged that Rigi takes orders from the intelligence services of Britain, Pakistan and the United States.

    "The group of Rigi has direct contact with the American and British intelligence services and unfortunately the Pakistani intelligence service," Jafari said.

    "He is supported by them and without doubt he is acting under their orders and plans."

    Jundallah itself, in a statement posted on the Internet, said the operation's aim was to avenge "the wounds of the Baluch people which have been bleeding for years without end."

    It named the bomber as Abdul Wahid Muhammadi Sarawani and said Iranian intelligence officials were among the dead.

    "During the past year alone, this regime killed hundreds of (Baluch) youths of this province who together died either by firing squad, execution or martyrdom under torture," it said.

    "The Baluch people ... are determined to stand against injustice and to obtain their freedom till the last drop of their blood," the group said.

    General Mohammad Pakpour, the head of Guards' ground forces and whose deputy was killed in the powerful blast, also said Washington and London were backing those who launched the attack against Iran's prestigious military force.

    "The terrorists were trained in the neighbouring country (Pakistan) by the Americans and British," Pakpour said on state television.

    Britain, like the United States, denied the allegations that it aided the rebels. "We reject in the strongest terms any assertion that this attack has anything to do with Britain," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said in London.

    Ahmadinejad reiterated that the assault was plotted in Pakistan and urged Zardari to confront the Jundallah rebels.

    Jundallah has in recent years repeatedly attacked the Guards, the elite military force set up after the 1979 Islamic revolution to protect the Islamic regime from internal and external threats.

    A senior judiciary official in the province, Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Hamidi, said that "more than 30 Sunni tribal chiefs" were among the dead and questioned Jundallah's claims to be promoting the Baluchi cause.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday issued a statement in which he "strongly condemns yesterday's terrorist attacks."

    Sistan-Baluchestan's deputy governor, Jalal Sayyah, meanwhile, said Iran has identified the bomber but no arrests have yet been made. "It is likely that those who supported the bombing have fled" to Pakistan, he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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