Eleven killed as bomb tears through Iran military parade

A bomb tore through a military parade in Iran on Wednesday killing 11 people as the Islamic republic showcased its weaponry at events marking the start 30 years ago of the bloody Iran-Iraq war.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 23:34 PM IST

Tehran: A bomb tore through a military
parade in Iran on Wednesday killing 11 people as the Islamic republic
showcased its weaponry at events marking the start 30 years
ago of the bloody Iran-Iraq war.

Among the dead were the wives of two commanders, an
official said, while medics reported 47 people wounded, 15 of
them seriously.
The bomb, placed just 50 metres from the podium at the
parade in the ethnically Kurdish northwestern town of Mahabad
in West Ajarbaijan province, exploded at around 1220 IST,
officials said.

"In this terrorist incident, 10 women and a young boy
were killed," deputy provincial governor Ali Nikbakht told the
official IRNA news agency, adding that an investigation was
underway to "identify and arrest the perpetrators."

Western Iran, which has a sizeable Kurdish
population, has seen deadly clashes between the Iranian
security forces and Kurdish rebel groups, notably the Party of
Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which operates from bases in
neighbouring Iraq.

Provincial governor Vahid Jalalzadeh blamed the
United States and "counter-revolutionaries" for the attack.

"This act has foreign origins. Unfortunately
America and its allies are present in the region and their
support for counter-revolutionaries and hypocrites has been
proven," he said on state television.

The bombing came as Iran showed off its military
hardware at anniversary parades across the country to
commemorate the 1980-88 war with Iraq in which an
estimated one million people died.
The longer-range Sejil, Shahab-3 and Ghadr-1
missiles were the star attraction at the main parade in
Tehran, which was attended by chief of staff
Major General Hassan Firouzabadi.

With a range of 1,800 to 2,000 kilometres, the
missiles are theoretically capable of hitting Iran`s arch foe
Israel. Also on display were five of Iran`s Karar (Assailant)
unmanned bomber aircraft, which were unveiled in August and
have a nominal range of 1,000 kilometres.

Firouzabadi insisted that Iran`s arsenal was for
defensive purposes only.

"The increased military capability of Iran is only
a deterrent against aggressors and for defending our country
against enemy threats," he said in a speech delivered before
the bomb attack in Mahabad.

"We can confidently tell people that our military
might is superior in the region but our military superiority
is not limited to the number of planes and material
calculations," he said, without elaborating.

PTI