6 Revolutionary Guard commanders killed in Iran

Reuters:

A suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and 23 other people on Sunday in one of the boldest attacks on Iran's most powerful military institution.

The attack, in the country's turbulent southeast, came as Iranian officials were to meet Western counterparts for a second round of negotiations in Vienna on Monday intended to help resolve a standoff with the West about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

State media said a local rebel group called Jundollah (God's soldiers) claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest on the elite Revolutionary Guards in recent years, which also wounded another 28 people at a meeting of tribal chiefs.

"Rigi's terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack," said state television, referring to Abdolmalek Rigi, leader of Jundollah which is linked by some analysts to the Taliban in neighboring Pakistan.

The Guards themselves accused "foreign elements" linked to the United States of involvement. Tehran accuses the United States of backing Jundollah to create instability in the country, a charge that Washington denies.

State television also pointed the finger at Britain, another traditional foe of Iran.

...

Citing a witness, state television said Sunday's attack occurred when senior Revolutionary Guards officers attending a conference in the southeastern city of Sarbaz went to talk to a group of tribes people making baskets.

English-language Press TV said the suicide bomber was one of the tribesmen who "detonated his explosives strapped to his body."

Among those killed were the deputy head of the Guards' ground forces, General Nourali Shoushtari, and the Guards' commander in Sistan-Baluchestan province, General Rajabali Mohammadzadeh, Iranian media reported. Shoushtari was also a senior official of the Guards' elite Qods force.

"General Shoushtari, along with a number of other (Guards) commanders, had gone there to attend a conference," Press TV quoted a witness as saying. [nLI602338]

"But before going there, there were some tribes people who were busy basket-making, and they went to talk to them and that's when the attack happened," said the witness, a man it named as Morteza Etasi.

"General Shoushtari got killed along with a number of other along with a number of other senior (Guards) commanders and tribes people."

...

The Jundollah have been making attacks on the government forces for years. In the past the government has been quick to blame the US, but there is no evidence that the US was involved and this is not the type of attack the US would make on Iran. The Iranian religious bigots need to accept the fact that their rule is not popular and the results is attacks like this one.

I don't think these types of attacks have much effect on most governments and they will have even less on the group of religious bigots running Iran. Ahmadinejad is making the same kind of statements a western leader would make. There is much irony in that coming from the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism.

The NY Times says there were two bombers in a coordinated attack. The second attack was on a car carrying the guard leaders.

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