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Iran Hangs 3 Over Thursday Mosque Bombing



Iran says it has executed three men convicted of involvement in Thursday's deadly suicide bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in southeastern Iran.

State news agency IRNA said the three were hanged in public early Saturday in Zahedan, near the mosque where the bombing killed 25 people two days earlier.

Local judiciary official Ebrahim Hamidi said the three - Haji Nouti Zehi, Gholam Rasoul Shahoo Zehi, and Zabihollah Naroui - were convicted of supplying the explosives used in the blast.

Hamidi said the men had actually been arrested before the attack, and confessed to bringing the explosives into Iran and "giving them to the main person behind the bombing." He added the men had also been involved in other attacks, including a 2006 bus bombing.

Iranian media reported Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Pakistani Ambassador Mohammad Bakhshi Abbasi after a Sunni Muslim militant group, Jundallah, claimed responsibility for the Zahedan attack on the Shi'ite mosque.

Sunni militants from Jundallah ("God's Brigade") are believed to have launched a similar attack in Zahedan in 2007, and security forces and drug smugglers also have clashed in that area, which borders Pakistan.

Friday, U.S. officials rejected Iranian allegations that the United States and Israel engineered the suicide-bomb attack, which took place near Iran's border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs condemned the attack in a statement, saying "no cause justifies terrorism."

Iran's interior minister, Sadeq Mahsouli, said in an official statement posted on the Internet Friday that "those who committed the Thursday bombing are neither Shi'ite nor Sunni. They are Americans and Israelis." He cited no evidence for his charges.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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