» 05/29/2009, 00.00
Suicide attack on Mosque in Zahedan, 19 dead, 125 injured
The day of prayer for the death of Fatima, daughter of Mohammad, was being celebrated in the mosque. Local authorities suspect the terrorist gesture aims to disrupt upcoming presidential elections. The city is a centre for trade in opiates. A feud between drug gangs or ethnic-religious tensions between Sunni and Shiites, is not ruled out as root cause.
Teheran (AsiaNews/Agencies) –A suicide attack on the Amir al-Momenin Mosque in Zahedan has killed 19 people and injured a further 125. Provincial governor of Sistan-Balouchestan, in southern Iran on the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ali-Mohammad Azad, has confirmed the attack.
The blast took place during evening prayer yesterday and was carried out by a terrorist group that had also planned a second explosion. Throughout the country, Muslims were commemorating the death of Fatima, daughter of Mohammad.
The governor confirms that some terrorists were arrested as they tried to leave the country. The attack appears to have been motivated by a desire to disrupt upcoming presidential elections, which will be held on June 12th next.
Zahedan is a majority Sunni city within a majority Shiite nation and placed on the border of the opiate trade route. Zahedan is the main crossing point for drug caravans that transport opiates to Iran and the rest of the world.
Sometimes the drug gangs face opposition to their trade by the Revolutionary Guards (the pasdaran); on other occasions the pasdaran are competitors in the trade.
In February 2007, in Zahedan, a Sunni group killed 13 pasdaran. According to authorities the militants were members of a group known as Jundullah, or “soldiers of God”.
There is also violence stemming from Sunnis frustrations at being subjected to the power of the Shiite ayatollahs. Teheran accuses the US and Great Britain of colluding with the Sunnis.
3 men hanged for attack on Zahedan Mosque. Suspicions point to US
The 3 men condemned to death had been arrested days before the mosque attack for having smuggled explosives into Iran. The executions took place a short distance from the mosque. Ahmadinejad halts tensions between Sunnis and Shiites amid accusations of a “foreign plot”. Khamenei points to the United States. Condolences from Ban Ki-moon.
17/07/2010 IRAN - UN
Tehran blames the West and Israel for Zahedan bombings
Government representatives and the Pasdaran point the finger at the United States, "Zionism", the "mercenaries of world arrogance”. Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, express grief. The attack against a place of worship is a "senseless act of terrorism" and "even more reprehensible."
Peshawar: a 15-year-old boy blows himself up in a Shiite mosque
The boy struck the grand Shiite mosque of Mirza Qasim Ali Imambargah: 10 are dead, and 24 wounded. One year ago, an identical attack killed the head of the city's police. Pakistan risks falling into an intra-Muslim feud.
Mosque attacked in Pakistan. At least 70 dead
A suicide attacker blew himself up shortly after the start of Friday prayers. There were more than 400 faithful present at the place of worship. The tribal areas on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan are the theater of a massive offensive by rebel groups, and of a sectarian struggle between Sunnis and Shiites.
19/10/2009 IRAN - PAKISTAN
Tehran blames Pakistan for attack on Pasdaran
At least 42 people killed and dozens injured. Jundallah (Army of God) Sunni group, claims responsibility for the attack. Pakistan accused of giving shelter to terrorists. The United States and Great Britain also charged. Sistan-Balochistan drugs trail from Afghanistan to Europe. An agreement on Iran's uranium processing uranium expected today in Vienna.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.