TEHRAN: A suicide bombing hit a bus carrying members of the Iranian military’s elite Revolutionary Guards in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan Baluchistan, killing 30 people and wounding 10, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
The explosion struck the vehicle on a desert road near Iran’s volatile border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. It comes two days after Iran marked the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. The suicide bomber struck the bus transporting IRGC members on the road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, a volatile area near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan where militant groups and drug smugglers frequently operate, Fars reported. No further details about the attack were immediately available.
No immediate claim of responsibility was made for the attack, which came on the day of a US-led conference in Warsaw that included discussions on what the United States describes as Iran’s malign influence across the wider Middle East.
The Guard is a major economic and military power in Iran, answerable only to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack in Sistan and Baluchistan province.
Most recently, an attack on a military parade in September 2018 in Iran’s oil-rich southwest killed more than 20 and wounded about 60.
On January 29, a double bombing in Zahedan, the provincial capital, wounded three police officers. The militant Sunni Muslim separatist group Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for that attack. In December a suicide bombing in the port city of Chabahar, also in the province, killed two police officers and wounded 42 people.
At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a coordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on Parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.