Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Pakistan condemns terrorist attack on Iran military parade

Unknown gunmen 'kill, injure several' in attack on Iranian army parade State TV: Gunmen attack military parade in Iran's Ahvaz
Deanna Wagner | 23 September, 2018, 01:19

Pakistan on Saturday condemned deadly terrorist attack on an annual military parade in southwest Iran that killed at least eight Revolutionary Guards.

ISNA quoted Khuzestan province's deputy governor Ali-Hossein Hosseinzadeh as saying: "One of the martyrs is a journalist".

Meanwhile, Iranian Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokesman for the armed forces, alleged without evidence that the four militants involved in Saturday's attack "were dependent to the intelligence services of the US and the Mossad" of Israel.

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

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran was linked to the United States' "allies in the region" and ordered security forces to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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

"Of the four terrorists, three were sent to hell at the scene, while the fourth who had been wounded and arrested went to hell moments ago due to his severe wounds", Shekarchi told state television.

Reports of how the attack unfolded remained unclear immediately afterward.

"Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their U.S. masters accountable for such attacks", he wrote on his Twitter account.

Iranian authorities have blamed "counter-revolutionary" groups based in northeastern Iraq for several attacks, particularly the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan.

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Videos of the attack published on social media showed the parade disintegrating into chaos as people ran from a barrage of gunshots.

The rare attack targeted Khuzestan, a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community, many of them Sunni, and was a major battleground of the devastating 1980-88 conflict between Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

Emphasizing that a number of soldiers, as well as event organizers, were also shot during the parade, he said the most victims and those badly injured are ordinary people who were watching the event, noting that "we can not accurately declare the death toll at the present time".

Top Iranian diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed to respond "swiftly and decisively" after gunmen opened fire in Ahvaz on Saturday leading to multiple casualties.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said those who have provided "propaganda and intelligence support" for the terrorists are accountable for the attack.

IS has carried out a major attack in Iran before.

The attack came earlier in the day as rows of Revolutionary Guardsmen marched down Ahvaz's Quds, or Jerusalem, Boulevard, with local TV outlets broadcasting the exact moment gunfire erupted and marching soldiers and local spectators began falling.

Rouhani leaves Sunday for NY to attend next week's United Nations General Assembly along with Trump, but Iran has repeatedly ruled out any meeting.

Kurdish militants killed 10 Revolutionary Guards in an attack on an IRGC post on the Iraqi border in July.