Several members of Iran's elite military guard killed in parade gun attack

23 Septembre, 2018, 01:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Iran vows 'crushing response' after gunmen kill 29 at army parade

Iranian authorities have summoned ambassadors of the Netherlands and Denmark as well as chargé d'affaires of the British embassy in Tehran after terrorists with alleged links to the European countries carried out attacks during a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday.

Zarif did not specify which regional government he held responsible for the shooting, but the Revolutionary Guards accused Shiite-dominated Iran's Sunni arch-rival Saudi Arabia of funding the attackers.

Ahwaz is the center of a province that has a large Arab minority and there are a number of groups that have opposed the Iranian regime from Ahvaz over the years.

He did not name the states, but USA allies in the region include Iran's arch-foe Israel and also the Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia.

"Terrorists began shooting from a long distance while inside the park, at the armed forces as well as civilians watching the parade", Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarch, a spokesman for the Iranian armed forces told MEHR, another Iranian news agency.

Khuzestan was a major battleground of the 1980s war with Iraq and the attack on the anniversary parade in Ahvaz had significant symbolic value.

Iran is marking the anniversary of the beginning of the 1980-88 war with Iraq with several military parades across the nation.

"They have been trained and organized in two Persian Gulf countries", he said, without elaborating.

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Ahvaz is the capital of Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province, which has seen attacks on oil pipelines by Arab separatists. At least eight of the dead served in the Revolutionary Guard, an elite paramilitary unit that answers only to Iran's supreme leader, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Last year, after two attacks linked to the Islamic State left 23 dead in Tehran, the White House released an official statement from the president that offered sympathy for the victims of the attack, but added that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote".

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has blamed regional countries and their "US masters" for the attack.

The report Saturday described the assailants as "Takifiri gunmen", a term previously used to describe ISIS.

- July 20, 2018: at least 10 Revolutionary Guards are killed in an attack led by insurgents against a base in the village of Dari, in the Marivan district of Iran´s northwestern Kurdistan region.

A child and a woman are among the injured following the attack in Ahvaz, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iran has suggested that it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries' oil exports in retaliation for USA sanctions meant to halt its sales of crude.

Sharkarchi said "among the martyrs, there is a little girl and a disabled war veteran". The assault shocked Tehran, which largely has avoided militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.

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