IRAN

US and UK accused of involvement in Iran suicide attack

Iran has accused "Great Satan America and its ally Britain" of complicity in a deadly suicide bombing in south-eastern Iran that killed up to 35 people, including a number of senior commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards (pictured).

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Iran's armed forces accused the United States and Britain of involvement in Sunday's attack on the elite Revolutionary Guards and warned of revenge, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

The headquarters of the armed forces blamed the bombing on "terrorists" backed by "the Great Satan America and its ally Britain".

"Not in the distant future we (Iran) will take revenge ... and Baluchis will clear this region of terrorists and criminals," Fars quoted a statement as saying, referring to the inhabitants of Sistan-Baluchestan, a volatile province near the border with Pakistan, where the attack took place.

General  Nur-Ali Shushtari, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, was among those killed in the attack.
General Nur-Ali Shushtari, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, was among those killed in the attack.

In response, the United States condemned the apparent suicide bombing 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.

Iranian authorities said a suicide bomber blew himself up at a meeting of the Revolutionary Guards early on Sunday, killing at least 30 people, including top commanders and local tribal leaders.

The attack took place in the city of Pisheen in south-eastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which hosts a substantial Sunni population.

Soon after the blast, state television announced that Jundollah, a rebel movement which says it is fighting against the political and religious oppression of the country's Sunni minority, had claimed responsibilty for the attack.

But Iran's parliament speaker also accused the United States of 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.
 

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