Suicide bomber kills 20 in southeastern Iran

      A suicide bomber killed at least 20 people, including five senior commanders of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, in southeastern Iran, on Sunday. The IRNA news agency said the dead included the deputy commander of the Guard''s ground force, General Noor Ali Shooshtari, as well as the Guard''s chief provincial commander, Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh. Dozens of others were wounded, the report said. The commanders were inside a car on their way to a meeting in the Pishin region near Iran''s border with Pakistan when an attacker with explosives blew himself up, IRNA said. Iran''s parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, condemned the assassination of the Guard commanders, saying the bombing was aimed at disrupting security in southeastern Iran. "We express our condolences for their martyrdom. ... The intention of the terrorists was definitely to disrupt security in Sistan-Baluchistan Province," Larijani told an open session of the parliament broadcast live on state radio. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion would likely fall on the Sunni militant group Jundallah, or Soldiers of God. The Revolutionary Guard was created after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The 120,000-strong elite force controls Iran''s missile program and has its own ground, naval and air units.

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