Double suicide bombings kill at least 39 in Iran

Worshippers attacked at mosque in southwest of Islamic Republic on Shi'ite holiday; Sunni group, Jundullah, reportedly claims responsibility.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
December 15, 2010 11:31
2 minute read.
Bombing aftermath in Iran [illustrative]

Iranian bombing 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

The death toll in a double-suicide bombing in the Iranian border region town of Chabahar rose to 39 people Wednesday afternoon after one of those wounded in the attack died from his injuries, according to an AFP report.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at 38 people instantaneously at a Shi'ite mourning ceremony, Iranian media reported.

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The attack took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in the port city of Chahbahar, near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said, quoting lawmaker Mohammad Yaghoub Jedgal.

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The attack targeted a group of worshippers at a mourning ceremony a day before Ashoura, which commemorates the seventh century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein, one of Shi'ite Islam's most beloved saints.

One of the attackers detonated a bomb outside the mosque and the other struck from inside a crowd of worshippers, state TV reported

A third terrorist was also said to have been captured after the bomb blast, according to an AFP report citing local media sources.

The area of Iran is home to an armed Sunni militant group, Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, which has waged sporadic attacks to fight alleged discrimination against the area's Sunni minority in overwhelmingly Shi'ite Iran.

The Sunni militant group, Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, announced that it was responsible for the double suicide bombings that killed at least 38 people in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, according to AFP, based on a statement released on a website connected to the group.

The group announced that the attack was to avenge the hanging of their leader Abdolmalek Rigi. It identified the two militants behind the attack as Saiful Rahman Chabahari and Hessan Khashi.

"This operation was a revenge for the hanging of the head of the movement Abdolmalek and other members of Jundallah," the group said on its website junbish.blogspot.com.
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In July, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in the same province, Sistan-Baluchestan, killing at least 28 people. Jundallah at the time also said that attack was revenge for the execution of Rigi in June.

That strike in the provincial capital, Zahedan, also targeted Shi'ite worshippers during a holiday, the birthday of Hussein, the prophet's grandson.

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 US 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 Shi'ite and Sunni tribal leaders in the border town of Pishin in October 2009, killing 42 people, including 15 Guard members.


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