At least 24 people, including 12 Revolutionary Guards, were killed and more than 60 were wounded when gunmen attacked a military parade Sept. 22 in the city of Ahvaz, capital of Iran's restive southwestern province of Khuzestan. A representative of the Iranian armed forces said the attack was carried out by four "terrorists," adding that security forces were in possession of the bodies of three of them and had taken the fourth into custody. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed "a foreign regime" backed by the United States for the attack, which left at least eight troops and several civilians dead. "Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz," Zarif stated. "Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks."
A few hours after the attack, Yaghoub Hor al-Tostary, representative for the separatist al-Ahwaz Arab Liberation Front, told the London-based Iran International TV that Ahwaz National Resistance, a coalition of separatist groups, was responsible for the attack, but insisted that civilians were not the target. The Ahwaz Arab Liberation Front, also known as Hazm, advocates armed struggle against the Islamic Republic to establish an independent Arab state in Khuzestan. It operates a military wing, the Brigades of the Martyrs al-Nasser Mohiuddin. Al-Tostary said that the group itself has not yet issued a formal statement taking responsibility for the attack. (IranWire)