Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Attack on military parade in southwest Iran kills 24

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Charlie Simmons | 22 September, 2018, 13:29

Gunmen fired on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, killing 24 members of the the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, in one of the worst attacks ever on the elite force.

A child and a woman are among the injured following the attack in Ahvaz, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The report Saturday described the assailants as "Takifiri gunmen", a term previously used to describe the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in Iran's southwest.

Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter also warned that "Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives" after the attack in Ahvaz.

Among those involved are members of the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Twenty people have been wounded in an attack on a military parade in Iran. The Guard also has vast holdings in Iran's economy.

According to the senior spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the attack was carried out by four terrorists, three of whom killed and the other arrested by security forces and the police.

State television blamed "takfiri elements", a reference to Islamist militants, for the attack in Ahvaz, the centre of Khuzestan province, which has been the site of sporadic protests by Iran's Arab minority.

The attack struck on Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard. However, Arab separatist groups in the region have launched attacks on oil pipelines there.

The parade was marking the start of the Iran-Iraq War, which lasted between 1980 and 1988.

At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the 2017 operation in gunmen carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives stormed the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress, starting an hours-long siege.

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