Published: Thu, February 14, 2019

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Bus Bombed; Dozens Dead

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Bus Bombed; Dozens Dead

The Guards, part of the elite branch of Iran's armed forces, were traveling a 100-mile mountainous route from the city of Khash to the provincial capital of Zahedan, when they came under attack, reports Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, citing a statement from the Revolutionary Guards.

Wednesday's violence comes during a month in which Iran has been commemorating the 1979 Islamic Revolution which swept the US -backed Shah from power.

But the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, known as TRAC, posted a tweet allegedly showing a message from the Sunni militant group Jaish al Adl, claiming responsibility for the attack.

The IRGC is a major economic and military power in Iran, answerable only to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Back in October 2018, at least 29 people were killed and 70 others wounded in an attack on a military parade in Iran's southwestern city of Ahvaz.

Iranian officials have blamed Saudi Arabia and the United States for stirring up dissent in the country.

It came on the same day that a conference convened by the USA in Warsaw was to include discussions on what Washington describes as Iran's malign influence across the wider Middle East.

On Twitter he asked: "Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins?"

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif directly linked the meeting to the attack.

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

Jaish al-Adl, formed in 2012, is a successor to the extremist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God), which has carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

The group, which is based in Pakistan, opposes the government in Tehran and has in the past carried out successful attacks against Iranian troops, including kidnappings, and an April 2017 ambush on the Pakistan border that killed nine border guards.

"I believe it's dead on arrival or dead before arrival", he said at a news conference before the bombing.

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