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

Hannah Rogers
September 22, 2018

Gunmen have opened fire during an Iranian military parade in the south-western city of Ahvaz, killing several people, including civilians, and injuring at least 20, state media say.

On June 7, 2017, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks in Teheran on Parliament and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

"Shooting began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade".

The gunmen shot from a park near the parade and were wearing military uniforms.

He added that none of the terrorists could escape, noting that other reports about the details of the attack are not confirmed.

The official IRNA news agency said a woman and a child were among the wounded. Iran has blamed its Mideast archrival, the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for funding their activity.

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Who carried out the assault also remained in question.

An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's long war. However, those groups in the past previously have only attacked unguarded oil pipelines at night.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani used the occasion to compare US President Donald Trump to the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Press TV reported. Rouhani said the USA withdraw from the nuclear deal was an attempt to get Iran to give up its military arsenal.

"Iran will neither abandon its defensive weapons nor will reduce its defense capabilities", Rouhani said. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

He said that children and journalists were casualties in the attack. The assault shocked Tehran, which has seen few militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution. Other Iranian media also consider the assailants to be linked to the Saudis, Iran's regional arch rival.

Meantime, Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Public Relations Department and IRGC Spokesman General Ramezan Sharif told ISNA news agency that the terrorists who attacked people during the Armed Forces' parades in Ahwaz were affiliated to al-Ahwaziyeh stream which is nourished by Saudi Arabia.

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