Jundollah bombs kill 28 in Iran, guards among dead

Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:43pm GMT

By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers killed at least 28 people, including elite Revolutionary Guards, at a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in southeast Iran, an attack Iranian leaders said was backed by the United States.

The Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundollah said it set off the bombs on Thursday, telling Al Arabiya television in an email it had carried them out in retaliation for Iran's execution in June of the group's leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.

Jundollah says it fights for the rights of Iran's Sunni Muslim minority. Iran's clerical leadership accuses its arch-foe, the United States, of backing Jundollah to create instability in Iran. Washington denies the charge.

The powerful bombs exploded near the Grand Mosque in the city of Zahedan, scattering body parts around the holy site. Jundollah said they were detonated 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," Dubai-based Al Arabiya said.

Senior lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the United States should be held accountable for the "terrorist acts in Zahedan" because of its support for Jundollah, the IRNA news agency said.

"Once more the wicked hand of America appeared out of the sleeves of ignorant and mercenary people," cleric Kazem Sediqi said in a Friday sermon broadcast live on state radio.

Iran is locked in a dispute with the United States and its allies over Tehran's nuclear programme, which the West says is designed to produce nuclear weapons and Iranian officials say is for purely civilian purposes.   Continued...

<p>Injured people are seen after a suicide bomb blast at a mosque in Zahedan, southeast of Tehran, July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Hosseinali Rashki/IRNA</p>
Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.