Rare suicide car bombing in Iran kills at least two
A suicide car bomber has attacked a police headquarters in the Iranian port city of Chabahar, killing at least two people and wounding several others, according to state TV.
The TV station broke into its regular broadcast to report the attack, as such assaults are rare in the Islamic Republic.
Rahmdel Bameri, a provincial official, said a suicide attacker driving a vehicle loaded with explosives drove up to the police headquarters. Officers blocked the vehicle and started firing at the driver, who then detonated his explosives. Footage showed smoke rising over the city.
The authorities did not identify who was behind the attack, but Iranian media initially blamed it on Ansar alFurqan, a Sunni jihadi group.
Ansar al-Furqan is known to operate in Iran’s south-eastern Sistan and Baluchistan province, which sees occasional attacks by Baluch separatists and drug traffickers. A year ago the group claimed to have blown up an oil pipeline in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province.
Chabahar is on Iran’s south-eastern coast near the border with Pakistan,.
Last month the US reimposed sanctions on Iran that had been lifted after Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. While Iran still complies with the accord, Donald Trump withdrew in part due to Tehran’s ballistic missile programme, its “malign behaviour” in the Middle East and its support of militant groups such as Hezbollah.
While suicide bombings are rare in Iran, there have been other militant attacks. In September, gunmen disguised as soldiers opened fire on a military parade in Ahvaz, killing and wounding dozens. Arab separatists and Islamic State both claimed responsibility.
In June last year a coordinated Isis assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50.
Officials inspect the scene of the attack in Chabahar.