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» 05/29/2009
IRAN
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.


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See also
05/30/2009 IRAN
3 men hanged for attack on Zahedan Mosque. Suspicions point to US
07/17/2010 IRAN - UN
Tehran blames the West and Israel for Zahedan bombings
01/18/2008 PAKISTAN
Peshawar: a 15-year-old boy blows himself up in a Shiite mosque
by Qaiser Felix
03/27/2009 PAKISTAN
Mosque attacked in Pakistan. At least 70 dead
10/19/2009 IRAN - PAKISTAN
Tehran blames Pakistan for attack on Pasdaran

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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