Reuters – At least 21 people, including elite Revolutionary Guards, were killed and 100 wounded in two suicide bomb attacks at a prominent Shi’ite Muslim mosque in the southeast Iranian city of Zahedan Thursday, Iranian media reported.
The Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundollah said it was behind the attacks, telling Al Arabiya television in an e-mail that it had carried them out in retaliation for Iran’s execution in June of the group’s leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.
Rigi was hanged after being convicted of carrying out other deadly attacks. Jundollah says it is fighting for the rights of Iran’s Sunni Muslim minority.
The suicide bombings took place near Zahedan’s Grand Mosque, and Jundollah said they were carried out by relatives of Rigi and were aimed at a Revolutionary Guards gathering.
“The group said the suicide attacks were carried out by Abdolbaset Rigi and Mohammad Rigi … and warned of more operations to come,” Al Arabiya said.
“In the two explosions in Zahedan more than 20 people were killed and over 100 were injured,” Fariborz Rashedi, head of the emergency unit at Sistan-Baluchestan province, told the official IRNA news agency.
It later quoted Zahedan prosecutor Mohammad Marzieh as saying that 21 people had died.
Iran’s deputy Interior Minister in charge of security, Ali Abdollahi, said “a number of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were killed and injured,” Fars reported.
IRNA said the second attack was so strong that “body parts were scattered around the Grand Mosque.”