At least 20 Guard personnel killed in Iran bombing

Erika Holt
February 14, 2019

"In this suicide attack a vehicle filled with explosives blew up beside a bus carrying a unit of the Guard ground forces causing the martyrdom and wounding of a number of the protectors of our Islamic homeland's border", it said.

A video posted by Fars showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on the road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, a volatile area near the Pakistan border.

The militant Sunni Muslim separatist group Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack.

Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest.

"Foreign-backed terrorists kill & wound innocents in Chabahar".

While violence and bomb attacks are not uncommon on both Iran's western and eastern frontiers - bordering Iraq and Afghanistan respectively - audacious and organised assaults that directly target the Islamic Republic's security services are still rare.

Jaish al-Adl claimed Wednesday's bombing in a statement online.

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

The attack comes as Iranian officials have said they blame Saudi Arabia and the United States for stirring up dissent in the country. Prince Mohammed is due in Pakistan, a major recepient of the kingdom's largess, in the coming days.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the day of a US -led conference in Warsaw that included discussions on what America describes as Iran's malign influence across the wider Mideast.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, described the conference convened by the U.S. as the Warsaw Circus, and said it was "no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day" that the talks began. Since then, the United Nations says Iran has kept up its side of the bargain, though Iranian officials have increasingly threatened to resume higher enrichment.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif directly linked the meeting to the attack Wednesday. Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Ten members of the Guards were also wounded in the attack, which targeted a bus transporting the security force, according to Fars News Agency.

Zarif earlier predicted the Warsaw summit would not be productive for the U.S.

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