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Iran Mourns Suicide Bombing Victims


A cleric prays over the coffins of the bombing victims during a mass funeral in Zahedan.
Iranians gathered in the southeastern city of Zahedan today to mourn the victims of twin suicide bombings that killed at least 27 people, including elite Revolutionary Guards.

Mass funerals for the victims were underway today, as footage on state television showed thousands marching through the streets, many chanting "Death to terrorists" and "Down with the United States."

The bombings struck at the entrance to the main mosque in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan Province, late on July 15, wounding some 270.

The Sunni rebel group Jundallah said it carried out the attack in revenge for Iran's execution in June of the group's leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.

AP today quotes Iranian media as reporting that Iranian authorities have arrested 40 people in connection with the bombings.

Meanwhile, Iran has blamed the West for the attacks. State television on July 16 quoted Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi as saying, "This blind terrorist act was carried out by the mercenaries of the world arrogance,” a reference to Western powers.

Iran accuses the United States and Britain of supporting Jundallah, a claim both countries deny.

On July 16, the UN Security Council condemned the bombings as a "terrorist attack."

compiled from agency reports