Fifteen Iran Guards among killed in Sunday attack

Guards would hold a ceremony in Tehran later on Tuesday to bid farewell to them.

Fifteen Iran Guards among killed in Sunday attack
Fifteen members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were among those killed in Sunday's suicide bombing in the Islamic Republic's volatile southeast, state radio reported on Tuesday.

Iranian media had previously said six senior Guards commanders were among the 42 people killed in the deadliest such attack in Iran since its 1980-88 war with Iraq, without saying how many other Guards died. Tribal chiefs and other civilians also died in the bombing.

"The number of Revolutionary Guards martyred ... in the terrorist incident in Sistan-Baluchestan province is fifteen," state radio said. It said the Guards would hold a ceremony in Tehran later on Tuesday to bid farewell to them.

The deputy head of the Guards' ground forces, General Nourali Shoushtari, and its commander in Sistan-Baluchestan province, General Rajabali Mohammadzadeh, were among the dead.

Iranian media say a rebel group, Jundollah (God's soldiers), has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Iran accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan of having links with the suspects responsible for a suicide bombing.

London, Washington and Islamabad have denied involvement.

Iranian police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam said Sunday's incident was mainly of "foreign origin" and showed traces of Western intelligence organisations, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

"There will have to be special security plans implemented in Sistan-Baluchestan, and neighbouring countries will have to feel responsible. Together we will have to take a decision to confront rebels, terrorists and smugglers," he said.

The Revolutionary Guards is an elite force seen as fiercely loyal to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It handles security in key border areas and its power and resources have increased in recent years.


Reuters
Last Mod: 20 Ekim 2009, 17:13
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