Attack on military parade in southwest Iran kills 24

Pauline Gross
September 22, 2018

A group of gunmen opened fire on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, killing several people and wounding at least 20 more, local and state news agencies reported. Some media reports said that there were four assailants and that at least two had been killed.

The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Guard, said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter blamed regional countries and their "US masters" for the attack and warned that "Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives".

State television blamed "takfiri elements", a reference to Sunni militants, for the attack.

He said that children and journalists were casualties in the attack.

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Semi-official news agency Mehr said further shooting broke out as some of the attackers who managed to escape were being chased. Paramedics could be seen helping someone in military fatigues lying on the ground.

Iran also suffered major attacks by IS extremists on June 7, 2017, when militants assaulted the parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the capital, Tehran.

The parade in the southwestern city was being held to mark the anniversary of the start of the eight-year war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1980.

In 2015, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both protested an Iranian crackdown against Ahvazi Arabs, as the regime undertook a large-scale campaign of arbitrary arrests in Khuzestan Province, where Ahvazis live and where most of Iran's oil and gas reserves are located.

The bloodshed struck a blow to security in OPEC oil producer Iran, which has been relatively stable compared with neighbouring Arab countries that have faced upheaval since the 2011 uprisings across the region.

Other reports by GizPress

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