[QODLink]
Middle East
Iran blames West over mosque attack
Scores arrested as officials blame the West and Israel for Thursday's blasts at mosque.
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2010 09:45 GMT
The bombings in Zahedan came only minutes apart and killed at least 27 people [AFP]

Iran has blamed the West and Israel for the twin suicide bombings on a mosque two days ago that killed at least 27 people and left scores wounded.

As funerals for the victims of Thursday's attack got under way, Iranian police also arrested 40 people for "creating disturbances", local media reported on Saturday.

The Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group claimed responsibility for the bombings, which targeted a Shia mosque attended by members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in the predominantly Sunni city of Zahedan in the Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Geneneral Ahmad Reza Radan, Iran's deputy police chief, told the semiofficial Fars agency that police had arrested people who "intended to create insecurity in the city of Zahedan after the bombing".

Other government officials lashed out at foreign powers, blaming them for the deadly bombings.

'Act of mercenaries'

"This blind terrorist act was carried out by the mercenaries of  the world arrogance (the Western powers)," state television's website quoted Ali Abdollahi, the deputy interior minister, as saying.

"The agents of this crime were trained and equipped beyond our borders and then came into Iran."

The European Union, the United Nations and the United States have all incidentally condemned the attack.

Tehran has long charged that Washington has provided support to Jundallah as part of efforts to destabilise the Islamic regime by fomenting unrest among ethnic minorities in sensitive border areas.

But on Friday Barack Obama, the US president, condemned the "outrageous terrorist attacks," while Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, blasted a "senseless act of terrorism" and Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign affairs head, condemned "these cowardly terrorist attacks".

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, the Iranian interior minister, pointed the finger at Israel, charging that Iran's arch-foe was seeking to stir up sectarian tensions.

"The terrorist act by the Zionists had a number of objectives, including creating division between Shias and Sunnis," the ISNA news agency quoted Najjar as saying.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.