At least 20 Guard personnel killed in Iran bombing

At least 20 Guard personnel killed in Iran bombing

At least 20 Guard personnel killed in Iran bombing

The Revolutionary Guards branch in south-eastern Iran said in a statement that a unit of its ground forces had been returning from the Pakistan border area on Wednesday when a auto filled with explosives blew up beside their bus.

Known for being volatile, militant groups and drug smugglers frequently operate in the area.

Another 20 people were wounded in the attack, which Iranian state media blamed on the Al Qaeda-linked Sunni extremist group Jaish al-Adl. In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by extremists in Sistan and Baluchistan province. The Revolutionary Guard later reported on its website that 27 were killed and 13 wounded.

It also came two days after Iran marked the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and four decades of tense relations with the west.

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While violence and bomb attacks are not uncommon on both Iran's western and eastern frontiers - bordering Iraq and Afghanistan respectively - audacious and organised assaults that directly target the Islamic Republic's security services are still rare.

Earlier this month, Jaish al-Adl was blamed for an attack on a paramilitary base in Nik Shahr that left one Revolutionary Guard dead and five others wounded.

In October, Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for kidnapping 10 Iranian security personnel.

The bombing comes on the day of a USA -led conference in Warsaw, Poland that included discussions of what the United States described as Iran' "malign influence" across the wider Middle East. President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise of tearing up Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, withdrew the USA from the accord last May.

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"Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by a terror on the very day that the #WarsawCircus begins?" he wrote.

"About the United States, the resolution of any issues is not imaginable and negotiations with it will bring nothing but material and spiritual harm", Khamenei said in a statement.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the attack and said the victims will soon be avenged.

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