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    » 05/29/2009, 00.00

    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

    30/05/2009 IRAN
    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."

    18/01/2008 PAKISTAN
    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.

    27/03/2009 PAKISTAN
    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.



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