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Iran Detains 50 Suspects In Deadly Bombings


http://gdb.rferl.org/0F4E1F37-6640-400C-BE43-EC6795DFD0B2_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/0F4E1F37-6640-400C-BE43-EC6795DFD0B2_mw800_mh600.jpg The scene of one of two blasts in Ahvaz on 26 January (Fars) 30 January 2006 -- Iran says it has detained about 50 suspects in connection with a deadly double bomb attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz in mid-January.

Ahvaz's deputy governor, Abdolrahim Fazilatpour, announced the arrests today.

The official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying that different groups had claimed responsibly for the explosions, but did not elaborate. He added that the aim of the bombings was "to create the impression" that cities in the Khuzestan Province, specially its capital Ahvaz, are unsafe.

On 28 January, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Iran would hand over evidence to Britain that proved British involvement in the attack. London has denied any involvement.

Tehran has made similar allegations against the United Kingdom in the past.

At least six people were killed and dozens were wounded in the blasts on 24 January.

(compiled from agency reports)
Iran's Arab Minority

The aftermath of a car bombing in Ahvaz on June 12, 2005 (epa)

DISCONTENT IN THE SOUTH: There are approximately 2.07 million ethnic Arabs in Iran (3 percent of the total population of 69 million), most of them living in the region around the southern city of Ahvaz. The region has been the scene of numerous terrorist attacks and demonstrations over the years. Arab groups cite historical grievances, and they bemoan inadequate attention to their culture and language by state media....(more)


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