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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bomb blast in Chabahar - Iran city

Deadly bomb attack in Iran city of Chabahar.

A bomb explosion in the south-eastern Iranian city of Chabahar has killed at least 38 people and injured many more, the official Iranian news agency says.

The blast, reported to be a suicide attack, took place outside the Imam Hossein Mosque, the Irna agency said.

Irna said the governor-general of Sistan-Baluchistan province had confirmed the incident.

The province is prone to unrest, with the mainly Sunni population often claiming discrimination by Shias.

The attack reportedly targeted pilgrims marking Ashura, the Shia day of mourning for the martyrdom of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

There is no confirmation of who carried out the attack and details remain unclear.

Irna quoted the head of the Chabahar Security Council, Ali Bateni, as saying there were two attackers and one had been arrested.

One militant group known to operate in the province is Jundullah (Soldiers of God), which says it is fighting for the culture and faith of the ethnic Baluch people.

Last month the group was designated a terrorist organisation by the US.

Tehran often accuses the US of using militants in the region as mercenaries to attack Iran's interests.

In July, 27 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in the provincial capital, Zahedan.

In October 2009, Jundullah said it was behind a suicide bombing that killed 31 people, including several top commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards, in the Pishin region of Sistan-Baluchistan.

Sistan-Baluchistan is one of Iran's most deprived provinces and its location also makes it a key route in the international drugs trade.

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