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A PICTURE released by Iran’s Fars News on Wednesday shows a bus that was destroyed in a suicide attack in the country’s southeast. The attack on the Revolutionary Guards left 27 people dead. In a late-night statement, an official said ‘response’ to the attack would not be limited to Iran’s borders.—AFP
A PICTURE released by Iran’s Fars News on Wednesday shows a bus that was destroyed in a suicide attack in the country’s southeast. The attack on the Revolutionary Guards left 27 people dead. In a late-night statement, an official said ‘response’ to the attack would not be limited to Iran’s borders.—AFP

TEHRAN: A suicide attack on Wednesday on a Revolutionary Guards bus in southeastern Iran killed at least 27 people, the official news agency IRNA reported.

“The suicide attack on an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel bus happened on the Khash-Zahedan road,” IRNA said. “This terrorist act happened a short time ago and according to reports at least 27 have been martyred and 20 have been wounded,” an informed source told IRNA.

The Guards issued a statement confirming the attack. It said the troops were returning from the border.

“In this suicide attack a car filled with explosives blew up besides a bus carrying a unit of the Guards ground forces causing the martyrdom and wounding of a number of the protectors of our Islamic homeland’s border.”

The attack took place in the volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan which has a large, mainly Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchi community which straddles the border with Pakistan.

On Jan 29 three members of an Iranian bomb squad sent to the scene of an explosion in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province, were wounded when a second device blew up as they were trying to defuse it, police said at the time.

And in early December last year two people were killed and around 40 others wounded in the port city of Chabahar, also in Sistan-Baluchestan, in an attack which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the time blamed on “foreign-backed terrorists” — a reference to Sunni Muslim extremists.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2019