Iran mosque suicide bomber kills two Basij
TEHRAN - A suicide bomb outside a Shiite mosque in Iran killed two Basij militiamen and wounded five people, in an area that has been the target of deadly attacks by Sunni rebels in recent years, media reported.
"Two Basijis were killed and five other people were wounded" when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the mosque in Chabahar, in Sistan-Baluchestan province, said Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi, according to ISNA news agency.
"A man wanted to commit a suicide attack at the Imam Hussein mosque, but the Basij and security forces spotted him. As they chased him, he detonated an explosives belt and was killed instantly," said Abdollahi.
He said that authorities were working to identify the assailant.
Media reported that three children figured among those wounded.
Official news agency IRNA said the "terrorist, who did not manage to enter the mosque, detonated his explosives belt few hundred metres (yards) away."
Sistan-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan and home to a strong Sunni minority in overwhelmingly Shiite Iran, has been the scene of bloody attacks by the Sunni rebels from the group Jundallah.
Jundallah chief Abdulmalek Rigi was hanged in June 2010 after he was captured on board a plane that was forced by Iranian armed forces to land as it crossed the Islamic Republic's airspace.
Tehran accuses US, British and Pakistani intelligence of supporting the group.