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Eight Reported Killed In Iranian Blasts

Prague, 12 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Authorities say several bombs exploded today in Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province. Iranian state television said eight people were killed.

The television quoted hospital officials in Ahvaz as aying that 30 others were injured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Amir-Hossein Motahar linked the blasts to ethnic unrest in April in Khuzestan, which is a
partly Arab-speaking province.

"The first reports indicate that these bombs were handmade and they were made inside of Iran. These events are
probably related to the latest disturbances in Khuzestan Province."

He said there were four early morning explosions. Motahar said a car bomb went off opposite the office of
the Ahvaz governor general while a second device exploded in front of the provincial Housing and Urban Development
Department building.

He said a third bomb exploded while experts were trying to defuse it in front of the residential unit of the province's
state television chief. The fourth occurred at another residential building.

The Interior Ministry called the blasts a "terrorist act."

(AP/AFP/Radio Farda)