Iran arrests many involved in mosque bombings

11:51, July 25, 2010      

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Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said Saturday a number of individuals who aided and abetted the perpetrators of the Zahedan terrorist attack have been arrested, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"It is almost certain for us that those people who carried out the terrorist attacks in the Zahedan Grand Mosque were linked to the Rigi cell," Abdollahi was quoted as saying.

The terrorist group Jundallah has claimed responsibility for the attacks, despite having been effectively disbanded following the execution of its ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi by Iran's authorities in June.

Abdollahi went on to say that U.S. support for these terrorists is evident, noting the connection between these terrorists and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces stationed in Afghanistan is clear and "they (the terrorists) with NATO support armed their agents," said IRNA.

Abdollahi said the enemies aimed to create a sectarian rift between Shiite and Sunni in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, adding " these people seek to portray our country as insecure."

On July 15, two successive explosions in front of the Grand Mosque of Zahedan, capital of Iran's southeastern Sistan- Baluchestan province, killed at least 27 people and injured more than 270 others.

On July 17, Iran's deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan said that his troops had arrested 40 suspects who aimed to create insecurity in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

Radan said two policemen were killed during the bombing attack and 10 others injured, and blamed foreign hands for the recent insecurities in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast last Tuesday called on Western countries not to back what he called their support of terrorism, saying the West should be accountable for what happened in the Zahedan bomb attack.

While Iran has held the United States accountable for the incident and for the Jundallah's earlier offenses, U.S. officials have condemned the terrorist attacks.

Sistan-Baluchestan province is home to the Jundallah insurgency, which is a Sunni group that has claimed responsibility for explosions that have killed dozens in recent years, including several senior commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guard last year.

Iran hanged the group's leader Abdolmalek Rigi in Tehran's Evin prison On June 20 after he was convicted of various crimes including armed robbery, bombing operations in public places, armed attacks on the army, police and ordinary civilians, assassination attempts, disrupting regional stability, kidnapping and murder.

The Jundallah group was founded by and had been under the command of Rigi who has claimed to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran. Iran said the group was behind numerous acts of terror, bombing and kidnapping.

Source: Xinhua


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