Bomb Blasts in Iran

On Thursday, July 14, 2010, in the evening, 2 bombs blasts occurred at a mosque in southeastern Iran killing at least 27 people and injuring 167. Using a known technique of terrorism, the first suicide bomber detonated himself just outside the mosque killing several people. When people moved in to provide assistance, about 20 minutes after the 1st bomb exploded, a second suicide bomber set off a 2nd bomb which resulted in the most destruction in terms of human life. The group Jundallah has claimed responsibility saying this attack was in retaliation for the execution of its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, by Iran. This group claims to be fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran and specifically for the Baloch people, an ethnic group which is in parts of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

While the group was supposedly started by its leader back in 2003, its origins are somewhat murky. Nevertheless, it has been active in Iran in a number of incidents. In 2005, they attacked the motorcade of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to Balochistan province. A bodyguard was killed and others injured. In 2009, 3 spectacular attacks killed nearly 80 people.

Iran’s government has made accusations of U.S. involvement in supporting this group. Apparently Rigi did confess to getting support from the U.S. but the BBC in reporting on this noted that it was not possible to confirm this or say whether or not Rigi said this freely or under duress. Whatever the case, Jundallah named a new leader after the execution of Rigi in June and this attack shows the group is still capable and active and continuing its struggle against the Iranian leadership.

Click HERE to read more columns by William Belle.

References

Jundallah: militant Islamist Sunni organization based in Balochistan that claims to be fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jundallah

Baloch People
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baloch_people

Balochistan Region
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balochistan_%28region%29

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