News / Middle East

Rebel Jundallah Group Claims Responsibility for Iran Mosque Bombing

The Sunni rebel group Jundallah, which is battling the Iranian government in Sistan-Baluchistan province, has claimed responsibility for Thursday's double, suicide bombing outside of a Shi'ite mosque in the provincial capital of Zahedan.  The attack killed at least 27 people and wounded about 270.  The blasts took place after Iran's recent hanging of the rebel group's leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.  

The Sunni rebel group Jundallah claimed responsibility Friday for twin suicide bombings at a Shi'ite mosque in Zahedan, capital of Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province.

A statement on the group's website called the attacks a "response to the crimes and atrocities of the regime," including the recent hanging of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi.

Both suicide bombers detonated their explosives at timed intervals during prayers inside the mosque.  Jundallah claimed that its operation was aimed at what it said were the "many [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard members inside the mosque."

Iranian government television denounced what it called the "barbaric" attacks perpetrated against innocent civilians.  One man who survived the bombings condemned the perpetrators.

He says that those who perpetrated these awful crimes are not human and are not Muslims.  He insists that the crimes were committed when innocent people were participating in a joyful religious celebration.

Sistan-Baluchistan's Sunni majority has long had tense relations with Iran's central government.  Jundallah rebels have carried out numerous bloody mosque bombings in recent years.

Iranian officials have repeatedly accused the United States and Israel of supporting Jundallah.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however, denounced Thursday's bombings, calling them "terrorist attacks."  Jundallah also reportedly enjoys close ties with the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

Jundallah members say they  are fighting to secure rights in the Sunni Baluchis in Shi'ite-dominated Iran.

Iran analyst Meir Javedanfar of the MEEPAS Center in Tel Aviv notes that Jundallah claims to be defending the Sunni Muslim causes:

"Jundallah plays on the Sunni card," said Meir Javedanfar. "It says that it's defending Sunni rights in Iran.  Therefore, by attacking a Shi'ite mosque, it would be trying to make a point, by saying that it's targeting the people who are oppressing it.  However, targeting a mosque full of innocent people, I wonder how it's going to help them, unless the people who were killed were military officials."

Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr, who lives in exile in France, insists Jundallah's acts of terrorism stem from the Iranian government's mistaken policies of oppression in Sistan-Baluchistan:

He says that fact that these explosions occurred after the hanging of Rigi proves that the government's actions weren't wise.  This terrorism, he argues, is born of a tyrannic relationship between the regime and its people, and the relationship must change for the terrorism to stop.  He stresses that the Iranian government uses violence in Sistan-Baluchistan and that violence only begets more violence.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More