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Scores killed in suicide attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guard bus

The Revolutionary Guard is Iran's elite paramilitary fighting force [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2019

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A suicide bombing targeted a bus carrying Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps, killing at least 30 people.

A suicide bombing targeting a bus carrying members of Iran's elite paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force killed at least 30 people and wounded 10 in the country's southeast Sistan Balochistan region, according to state media.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the day of a US-led conference in Warsaw that included discussions on what America describes as Iran's malign influence across the wider Middle East.

The state-run IRNA news agency, citing what it described as an "informed source," reported the attack on the Guard in the Chenali area of Sistan Balochistan.

Another state-run news source, Fars, reported at least 30 people had been killed.

The province, which lies on a major opium trafficking route, has seen occasional clashes between Iranian forces and Baloch separatists, as well as drug traffickers.

The IRGC are a major economic and military power in Iran, answering only to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

While Iran has been enmeshed in the wars engulfing Syria and neighboring Iraq, it largely has avoided the bloodshed plaguing the region.

In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by Sunni militants in Sistan and Balochistan province.

On June 7, 2017, the Islamic State group launched a coordinated assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

More recently, an attack on a military parade in September in Iran's oil-rich southwest killed over 20 and wounded over 60.

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