Iran vows revenge on 'mercenaries' behind suicide attack
SEE ALSO :The unseen war - Part 2The troops killed belonged to the Guards' 14th Imam Hussein Division, the Tasnim news agency reported, listing their names and their ages, which ranged from 21 to 52. The bomber struck as the troops were returning from a patrol mission on the border with Pakistan, where Baluchi separatist and jihadist groups have rear bases, the Guards said in a statement. Sistan-Baluchistan is home to a large ethnic Baluchi community, who straddle the border and who, unlike most Iranians, who are Shiite Muslims, are mainly Sunni. A special farewell ceremony is planned for Friday evening and the funerals will follow on Saturday, Tasnim said. Warning to neighbours Rouhani called on Iran's neighbours to assume their "legal responsibilities" and not allow "terrorists" to use their soil to prepare attacks. "If this continues and they cannot stop the terrorists, it is clear -- based on international law -- that we have certain rights and will act upon them in due time," he said, without elaborating. The attack came on the same day as the United States gathered some 60 countries in Poland for a conference on the Middle East and Iran which it hoped would increase pressure on Tehran. Iran quickly linked the attack to the Warsaw conference, where supporters of the formerly armed opposition People's Mujahedeen plan a second day of protests on Thursday. Dubbing the meeting the "WarsawCircus", Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it was "no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day" that the talks began in the Polish capital. "Especially when cohorts of same terrorists cheer it from Warsaw streets & support it with twitter bots? US seems to always make the same wrong choices, but expect different results," Zarif wrote on Twitter. Wednesday's bombing was claimed by the jihadist Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by Iran, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. The group was formed in 2012 as a successor to Sunni extremist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God), which waged a deadly insurgency for a decade before being severely weakened by the capture and execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi by Tehran in 2010. Sistan-Baluchistan has been hit by previous deadly attacks in recent months. On January 29, three members of an Iranian bomb squad sent to the scene of an explosion in provincial capital Zahedan were wounded when a second device blew up as they were trying to defuse it. And in early December, two people were killed and around 40 wounded in an attack in the strategic port city of Chabahar, on the province's Arabian Sea coast, which Zarif blamed on "foreign-backed terrorists". In October, Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for abducting 12 Iranian security personnel near the border, five of whom were later released and flown home after Pakistani intervention.
Register to advertise your products & services on our classifieds website Digger.co.ke and enjoy one month subscription free of charge and 3 free ads on the Standard newspaper.