A bomb blast today in Iran’s restive northwest killed at least 12 people and injured more than 70 others, according to multiple news reports. The explosion in Mahabad occurred during a military parade celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war’s start. Two military leaders’ wives are reported among the dead, as is at least one child. No military officials or dignitaries, who were on a podium 50 meters away, were injured.
The L.A. Times is carrying an Associated Press video showing the bombing and its aftermath:
Iranian officials reacted quickly to the bombing, hinting that Kurdish militant groups, active in the region, were behind the attack, and that “foreign sources” may be supporting them — almost certainly a nod to alleged U.S. backing for anti-regime and other separatist groups in Iran. A foreign ministry spokesman blamed the attack on the “Zionist regime” (Israel) and it’s supporters, adding that it was a reaction to Iran’s strong showing on the international stage with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York for the UN General Assembly.
The U.S. State Department, however, quickly released a statement condemning the attacks as a form of terrorism — the same language used by Iranian officials to describe the incident. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “the perpetrators of this attack should be brought to justice and held accountable.” Her full statement is below:
Explosion in Mahabad, IranHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateWashington, DCSeptember 22, 2010
I condemn the bombing targeting Iranians attending a parade in Mahabad today and offer my sympathy to the families and loved ones of those injured and killed. The perpetrators of this attack should be brought to justice and held accountable.The United States condemns terrorism and all forms of violence against innocent people, wherever it occurs, and stands with the victims of these crimes. This attack underscores the international community’s need to work together to combat terrorism that threatens the lives of innocent civilians all around the world.