Iran: Baluchistan blast targets Revolutionary Guards
The Sunni resistance movement Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, took credit for a car bomb that killed two senior commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and 27 other officers in a suicide attack in Pishin, Sistan-Baluchistan province. The blast targetted a meeting of Revolutionary Guards commanders and local tribal leaders.
Brigadier General Nour Ali Shoushtari, the deputy commander for the Revolutionary Guards' ground forces, and and Brigadier Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, the provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan, were killed in the attack. Another 28 officers and civilians were wounded. Another attack against a Revolutionary Guards convoy was also reported in Pishin; casualties remain uncertain.
Jundallah, also known as the Peoples Resistant Movement of Iran, is a Baluchi insurgent group that operates in Pakistan's Baluchistan provinces as well as in Sistan-Baluchistan in Iran. The group was founded in 2003 by Emir Abdul Malik Baluch AKA Abdul Malik Rigi, and has carried out numerous attacks, including the 2005 ambush on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's motorcade in Sistan-Baluchistan.
The Iranian government accuses the US, UK, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia of covertly backing Jundallah. Western intelligence agencies, in turn, claim it is linked to al-Qaeda. It is uncertain what link exist between Iran's Jundallah and the insurgent group of that name in Pakistani Baluchistan, led by the imprisoned Ata-ur-Rehman. (Long War Journal, Oct. 18)
Iran blames the West
The Revolutionary Guard released a statement after the attack asserting there was "no doubt that this violent and inhumane act was part of the strategy of foreigners and enemies of the regime and the revolution."
Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani blamed the US more directly, saying: "We consider the recent terrorist attack to be the result of US action. This is the sign of America's animosity against our country. Mr. Obama has said he will extend his hand toward Iran, but with this terrorist action he has burned his hand." (CSM, Oct. 18)