Terrorists target IRGC bus in southeastern Iran

Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard were targeted by a suicide bomber killing at least 20. REUTERS  Stringer  File

Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard were targeted by a suicide bomber killing at least 20. REUTERS Stringer File

According to IRGC Qods Base statement, the bus was attacked by a auto bomb packed with explosive material on the road between Zahedan and Khash in the southeastern province.

"The suicide attack on an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps personnel bus happened on the Khash-Zahedan road", IRNA said.

The Sunni Muslim militant group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), has said it was behind the bombing.

Last September at least 29 people were killed and over 60 wounded in an attack on an IRGC parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

"Foreign-backed terrorists kill & wound innocents in Chabahar".

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The statement did not identify the "hegemonic powers", but Iran's foreign minister linked the bombing to a US-led conference on the Middle East taking place in Warsaw, Poland, that will include discussions about Iran's activities in the region. Jundallah, a Sunni extremist group whose members have joined Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibility for that attack.

In October, Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for kidnapping 10 Iranian security personnel.

And in early December previous year two people were killed and around 40 others wounded in the port city of Chabahar, also in Sistan-Baluchistan, in an attack which Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the time blamed on "foreign-backed terrorists" - a reference to Sunni Muslim extremists.

The attacks come as Iranian officials have said they blame Saudi Arabia and the United States for stirring up dissent in the country.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to blame the United States for the attack, citing a USA -sponsored conference in Warsaw aimed at rallying support to further isolate Iran.

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Amid the new tensions, Iran's already-weakened economy has been further challenged.

Zarif tweeted Wednesday night: "Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins?"

"Especially when cohorts of same terrorists cheer it from Warsaw streets & support it with twitter bots?"

A meeting sponsored by the U.S. and held in Poland this week aims in part to build support for American efforts to thwart Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Khamenei, who earlier approved President Hassan Rouhani's outreach to the West during the nuclear deal negotiations, dismissed any future dealings with the U.S.

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The Guard issued a statement confirming the attack.

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