Iran: 24 killed, several injured in attack on military parade
New Delhi : Breaking news south-western Iran reports that Gunmen fired on a military parade, killing 24 members of the semi-official. It is one of the worst attacks ever on the elite force. “There are a number of non-military victims, including women and children who had come to watch the parade,” the IRNA news agency quoted an unnamed official source as saying.
Local media reported that the attack wounded more than 60 people, targeted a stand where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) have been the sword and shield of Shi’ite clerical rule since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Guards also play a major role in Iran’s regional interests in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
A video of the incident has gone viral which showed soldiers crawling on the ground as gunfire blazed in their direction. One soldier picked up a gun and got to his feet as women and children fled for their lives.
Ali Hosein Hoseinzadeh, deputy governor in Khuzestan province, mentioned that the death toll may rise. In the firing one journalist was also killed.
The violence struck a rage to security in OPEC oil producer Iran, which has been relatively stable compared with neighbouring Arab countries that have grappled with upheaval since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East.
Meanwhile, there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in the city of Ahvaz.
State television blamed “takfiri elements”, a reference to Sunni Muslim militants, for the attack. Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, where there have been irregular protests by the Arab minority in predominantly Shi’ite Iran.
Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the assault was the handiwork of “regional terror sponsors”, language that usually refers to Iran’s enemies Saudi Arabia and Israel, and “their U.S. masters”. He vowed Tehran would respond decisively.
ISNA said an unnamed spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards blamed Arab nationalists backed by Saudi Arabia for the attack.
Tensions between mainly Shi’ite Iran and mostly Sunni Saudi Arabia have surged in recent years, with the two countries supporting opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon.
Last year, in the first physical attack claimed by Islamic State in Tehran, 18 people were killed at the parliament and mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and first supreme leader of the Islamic Republic.