TEHRAN: A suicide bombing targeting a bus carrying personnel of Iran’s elite paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force killed at least 27 people and wounded 20 in the country’s southeast, state media reported.
Iranian state media blamed Al-Qaeda-linked Sunni extremist group Jaish Al-Adl for the bus bombing.
The attack came on the day of a US-led conference in Warsaw that included discussions on what America describes as Iran’s malign influence across the wider Mideast.
The state-run IRNA news agency, citing what it described as an “informed source,” reported the attack on the Guard in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province.
The province, which lies on a major opium trafficking route, has seen occasional clashes between Iranian forces and Baluch separatists, as well as drug traffickers.
The Guard is a major economic and military power in Iran, answerable only to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
While Iran has been enmeshed in the wars engulfing Syria and neighboring Iraq, it largely has avoided the bloodshed plaguing the region. In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by Sunni extremists in Sistan and Baluchistan province.
A coordinated June 7, 2017 Daesh group assault on Parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
And most recently, an attack on a military parade in September in Iran’s oil-rich southwest killed over 20 and wounded over 60.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Wednesday his country will take revenge for a suicide attack against the Revolutionary Guards which left at least 20 dead, according to the Fars news agency.
"The self-sacrificing military and intelligence children of the people of Iran will take revenge for the blood of the martyrs of this incident," Qassemi said, according to Fars.