At least 33 mourners commemorating the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam have been killed in a terror attack in the southeastern Iranian city of Chabahar.
Chabahar governor Ali Bateni said at least 33 people, including women and children, have been killed and many more wounded in the attack which occurred at the Imam Hussein mosque in Chabahar on Wednesday when Iranians were attending the religious Tasua ceremony.
Earlier reports put the number of those killed at 39.
Anti-Iran terrorist group Jundallah has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group obtained explosive belts from Saudi Arabia, Press TV has learned.
Over 83 people have also been injured in the attack, some of whom are in critical condition.
Bateni said security forces have arrested one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attack.
“Terrorists aimed to carry out their second attack in the midst of another group of mourners but the vigilance and timely reaction of the security and civil forces neutralized a good part of their plot,” IRIBNews quoted Bateni as saying.
Officials say they have been receiving bomb threats over the past three days.
Meanwhile, an official with the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said three terrorists, who entered Iran from one of the neighboring countries, planned to carry out blind attacks in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
“One of them was killed in a clash with Intelligence Ministry forces,” IRIBNews quoted the informed source as saying.
The second terrorist was arrested when trying to escape the country, but unfortunately the third terrorist was able to carry out his attack, the Intelligence Ministry official said.
Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said the perpetrators of the attack were supported by regional and US intelligence services.
“The equipment and backup of the terrorists behind the attack indicate that these individuals were supported by advanced regional and US intelligence services,” IRNA quoted Abdollahi as saying on Wednesday.