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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:16, December 20, 2005
Iran confirms ambush on president's motorcade but dilutes assassination suspicion
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Iran on Monday confirmed that one of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's body guards was killed when a motorcade of the security team was ambushed in the southeast of the country but indirectly denied that it was an assassination attempt on the president.

Government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said a group of " bandits" on Thursday in the southeastern province of Sistan- Baluchestan attacked a motorcade of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps which was specially in charge of Ahmadinejad's security.

Elham also confirmed a previous report that one guard and a local driver of the president's security team were killed and another guard wounded during the attack, which took place on the way to the Gulf coastal city Chahbahar from Saravan, a city nearly 300 km northeast of Tehran.

Two bandits were also killed during the exchange of fire in the attack and a following hunting operation by security forces, Elham added.

Hinting that the attackers were just aimed at the security team, the spokesman revealed no details about Ahmadinejad's whereabouts when the ambush took place.

The news was firstly reported on Saturday by Iran's semi- official newspaper the Islamic Republic Daily, which said that a leading motorcade with Ahmadinejad's security guards aboard was ambushed by bandits.

The government failed to offer timely information after the incident happened, which led to suspicion that the attackers were targeting Ahmadinejad.

Sistan-Baluchestan, located in southeastern Iran, has a population of 2,200,000, most of them Baluchis, and covers an area of 186,000 square meters.

The province, bordering with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is one of the most turbulent and poorest provinces in the Islamic Republic.

Ahmadinejad, accompanied by cabinet ministers, arrived in Sistan-Baluchestan Wednesday morning for a three-day visit aimed to build closer tie between the central government and local people there.

Source: Xinhua

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