News / Middle East

Thousands Attend Funerals for Iran Bombing Victims

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The victims of twin suicide bombings in Iran have been laid to rest, mourned by thousands of people at funeral rites Saturday in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

Twenty-seven people were killed and about 270 wounded Thursday in the explosions outside a mosque in Zahedan.

Investigators believe the attackers targeted worshippers who had gathered to celebrate the life of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

A Sunni Muslim group, Jundallah, has claimed responsibility for the attack, and police say they have been rounding up people suspected of trying to stir up unrest in the bombings' aftermath.

Iran's Fars news agency quotes a police official (Zahedan Deputy Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan) as saying that 40 people have been arrested.

Some Iranian officials linked the United States to the attacks in Zahedan, and officials in Tehran have accused the U.S. of supporting Jundallah's anti-government campaign.  Some of the officials have also accused Britain, Israel and Pakistan of having roles in the attacks.

Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks Friday and called for those responsible to be held accountable.  U.S. authorities denied having a role in the bombings.

Jundallah (which means "soldiers of God") said it carried out the bombings to answer the Iranian government's execution last month of the militants' leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.  The group said it would continue its activities.

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

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Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
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Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
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