Blast in Iran kills 10, 35 injured

A bomb exploded among a crowd watching a military parade in the city of Mahabad in Iran.


Reuters September 22, 2010

TEHRAN: Ten people were killed and dozens injured when a bomb exploded among a crowd watching a military parade in northwestern Iran on Wednesday, and a local official blamed anti-revolutionary militants.

Some 35 people were wounded, 15 critically, in the blast in the city of Mahabad, the ISNA news agency reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"This bomb was a time-bomb planted on a tree among the people and it went off at 10:20 (0650 GMT)," the website of state-run television IRIB quoted a military official as saying.

"The bomb exploded around 160 ft from the podium, said Vahid Jalalzadeh, the provincial governor of Iran's West Azerbaijan province.”Because of that two high-ranking military officials' wives were martyred," he said.

Bomb attacks like this are rare in the region but Kurdish militants have been active in the past in the region which borders Iraq and Turkey. Iranian forces have often clashed with Kurdish guerrillas, some of whom operate out of northern Iraq.

On Aug. 4 a homemade explosive went off near President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's motorcade as he was travelling to the western city of Hamadan. He was unharmed and officials said the blast was just a firecracker.

Local officials blamed militants for Wednesday's carnage. "Counter-revolutionary groups, by inserting themselves among the people attending the armed forces parade, showed their heinous face," Jalalzadeh was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

No casualties were reported among the military personnel and political dignitaries attending the annual parade, one of several held across the country to commemorate Iran's eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.

Around one million people were killed in the Middle East's longest armed conflict in modern times, which involved trench warfare, chemical attacks and mass Iranian frontal assaults.

At a major display of weaponry in the capital Tehran the armed forces chief of staff blamed Washington for supporting the government's opponents inside Iran.

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