At least 41 killed in Iran bombing on Revolutionary Guard personnel bus

Rouhani has warned that Iran will make those responsible for the attack'pay for the blood of our martyrs

A suicide bombing targeting a bus carrying personnel of Iran's elite paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force killed at least 20 people and wounded 20 in the country's southeast, state media reported.

"This terrorist act happened a short time ago and according to reports at least 20 have been martyred", IRNA quoted the source as saying.

Sistan-Baluchistan is a volatile province near the border with Pakistan, where militant groups and drug smugglers frequently operate.

The bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal, a photo published on Fars showed.

In September previous year, Isis militants and an Arab group claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on a military parade, also in the country's south, that killed and wounded dozens of people, including members of the Guards.

The Guards issued a statement confirming the attack. It said the troops were returning from the border.

The wreckage of the bus that was targeted by a suicide bomber on Wednesday
The wreckage of the bus that was targeted by a suicide bomber on Wednesday

The statement did not identify the "hegemonic powers", but Iran's foreign minister linked the bombing to a US-led conference on the Middle East taking place in Warsaw, Poland, that will include discussions about Iran's activities in the region.

The Revolutionary Guards branch in south-eastern Iran said in a statement that a unit of its ground forces had been returning from the Pakistan border area on Wednesday when a auto filled with explosives blew up beside their bus.

The attacks come as Iranian officials have said they blame Saudi Arabia and the United States for stirring up dissent in the country.

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

A vehicle is seen at the site of the suicide attack on a Revolutionary Guards on the road between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, Iran, February 13, 2019.

Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn in an attack by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz. Three police officers were wounded in the January 29 attack.

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