by Florian Flade
Two suicide bombers struck the Southeast of Iran today, killing at least 39 people, Shia pilgrims marking Ashura at the Imam Hossein Mosque in the city of Chabahar. The double bombing took place in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province of Iran, a region with strong Sunni presence and hotbed of activities of a Sunni militant group calling itself „People´s Resistance of Iran“ or „Jundullah“. Jundullah is also the group claiming responsibility for today´s suicide attack on the Shia pilgrims.
In a statement released on Jundullah´s website, the group says the attack was meant as a warning to the Iranian government to withdraw Baluchistan and grant the region independence. Pictures of the two young men who carried out the bombings were also released, showing the bomber wearing ballbearing-prepared explosive vests. Both suicide bombers – Hassan Khashi and Saif ar-Rahman Chabahari – seem to be rather young, almost teenagers.
The last time Jundullah carried out a suicide bombing against Shia Iranian targets was in October. Twenty people, including five top Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials were killed when a Jundullah suicide bomber attacked a car carrying the military commanders in Pishin near the Iran-Pakistan border.
In July 16th, two suicide bomber blew themselves up in a mosque in the southeast Iranian city of Zahedan. At least 27 people died in that twin bombing. Jundullah claimed responsibility and presented images of the two suicide bombers similar to the ones released today. The Zahedan attack was described by Jundullah as the revenge operation for the hanging of their leader Abdul Malik Rigi. Rigi whom the Tehran regime accuses of being supported by the US and Israel, was captured in February in Pakistan and then handed over to Iranian authorities.