Iran: Sunni militants blow up mosque
The Jundallah, a Sunni militant organization whose leader was recently executed by Iranian authorities, claimed responsibility July 16 for two coordinated suicide blasts the previous night that killed at least 27 people, including members of the elite Revolutionary Guard, and injured 270 others during an evening prayer ceremony at the Grand Mosque in Zahedan. The group said its goal was to kill members of the Revolutionary Guard and avenge the arrest and hanging of its leader, Abdulmalak Rigi.
"This operation is a response to incessant crimes of the regime in Baluchistan," the group said in a statement, referring to the region that straddles the border of Iran and Pakistan. "The two young martyrs sacrificed their lives and shattered the dreams of executioners and devils."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the bombings. "This senseless act of terrorism at a place of worship makes it all the more reprehensible," a statement from Ban's spokesman said. Iran's state-controlled Press TV said: "Some say extremist Wahhabis and Salafis trained by US intelligence agents in Pakistan carried out the attack." (LAT, Press TV, July 17)