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Asia-pacific

Bomb found on board domestic flight

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-05-31

Security officials diffused a homemade bomb found on a grounded plane in Iran, according to Fars news agency. The incident comes just two days after a blast killed 25 people at a mosque and just two weeks ahead of presidential elections.

REUTERS - Security personnel defused a homemade bomb found on an aircraft during a domestic flight in Iran late on Saturday, Iranian media said, two days after a mosque bombing killed 25 people in the southeast of the country.

 

The device was defused after the Kish Air aircraft with 131 passengers on board made an emergency landing in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

 

The incident occurred less than two weeks before the Islamic Republic holds a presidential election in which the conservative incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces a challenge from reformers.

 

“Minutes after the ... Kish Air flight took off with 131 passengers from Ahvaz to Tehran, security personnel found a homemade bomb” on board, Fars reported.

 

Fars gave no further details about the incident, which was also reported by other media.

 

On Thursday, a bombing in a popular Shi’ite mosque in the southeastern city of Zahedan killed 25 people and wounded more than 120.

 

Three men convicted of involvement in the mosque bombing were executed in public on Saturday in Zahedan.

 

A Sunni opposition group named Jundollah (God’s Soldiers), which Iran says is part of the Islamist al Qaeda network and backed by the United States, said it was behind the bombing, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said.

 

Thursday’s bombing was the deadliest such incident in Iran since its 1980-88 war with Iraq. A blast in a mosque in the southern city of Shiraz killed 14 people in April last year but the country has otherwise been relatively peaceful.

 

Iran has previously accused the United States, its arch-foe, of supporting Sunni rebels operating on its border with Pakistan.

Date created : 2009-05-31

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