Iran holds funerals for 25 victims of terror attack on military parade

In Photo: Mourners gather for a mass funeral for those who died in a terror attack on a military parade in Iran in Ahvaz, Iran, on September 24. Iran held a mass funeral for those killed in the attack on Saturday in the country’s oil-rich southwest.

AHVAZ, Iran—Iran was holding funerals on Monday for the victims of the weekend terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people, the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade.

Thousands of mourners gathered at the city’s Sarallah Mosque on the Taleghani junction, carrying caskets in the sweltering heat.

Others, mainly young people wearing ethnic clothes of the region’s Arab minority, held large photographs of those slain at Saturday’s parade in Ahvaz, the Khuzestan provincial capital, where militants disguised as soldiers had opened fire at marching troops and onlookers. Of those killed, 12 people were from Ahvaz and the rest from elsewhere in Khuzestan.

The procession walked down the Naderi and Zand streets, many weeping and beating their chests, a traditional way of showing grief. Mourners played drums, cymbals and horns, according to local custom.

Cries and wails erupted when the casket of a local hero, 54-year-old Hossein Monjazi, a disabled war veteran and Revolutionary Guard member who had lost a leg and a hand in the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, was brought out.

Monjazi was in the wheelchair watching the parade when the gunshots erupted and was unable to find shelter from the hail of bullets.

Speaking at the funeral ceremony, Revolutionary Guard’s acting commander Gen. Hossein Salami vowed revenge against the attack’s perpetrators and what he called the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.

“You are responsible for these actions; you will face the repercussions,” the general said. “We warn all of those behind the story, we will take revenge.”

Arab separatists have claimed the assault, which killed 25 and wounded 60, including Guard members and soldiers. Iranian officials have blamed the separatists for the attack. The Islamic State group also claimed responsibility for the attack, but offered no clear evidence it carried out the assault.

President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday accused an unnamed US-allied regional country of supporting the perpetrators. Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Western diplomats, accusing them of allegedly providing havens for the Arab separatists behind the attacks.

The Ahvaz attack has further shaken Iran, already facing turmoil in the wake of the American withdraw from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Rouhani’s remarks could refer to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain—close US military allies that view Iran as a regional menace over its support for militant groups across the Middle East.

“All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America. It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes,” Rouhani said before leaving for the UN General Assembly in New York.

Image Credits: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

House Manila Leaderboard
ECA 728×90 Leaderboard
Suntrust banner2

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here