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(CNN) — At least 10 people have been killed and 21 others, including a child and a woman, were wounded in an attack on a military parade in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province, Iranian news agencies reported Saturday.
“The terrorists disguised as Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basiji (volunteer) forces opened fire to the authority and people from behind the stand during the parade,” Governor of Khuzestan Gholam-Reza Shariati said, according to the state news agency IRNA.
IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the attackers were affiliated with a terrorist group supported by Saudi Arabia, Press TV said. “The individuals who fired at the people and the armed forces during the parade are connected to the al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia,” Sharif said.
Two of the attackers were gunned down during clashes with the security forces and two others arrested, one of them injured, IRNA said.
The parade was part of nationwide celebrations in Iran to mark the 30th anniversary since the end of the eight-year war with Iraq that started in September 1980 and ended in August 1988.
The attack happened in a province bordering Iraq that has a large ethnic Arab community, many of them Sunni. It was a major battleground during the war that killed half a million soldiers.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed “a foreign regime” backed by the United States for Saturday’s attack that killed at least eight troops and several civilians.
“Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz,” Zarif said in a tweet, adding: “Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks.”
Earlier, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani used the occasion of the military parades to compare US President Donald Trump to the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Press TV reported.
Speaking at a military rally in Tehran, he said Trump will fail in the “economic and psychological war” he’s launched against Iran, just as Hussein failed in his 8-year war against the Islamic Republic.
“Iran will neither abandon its defensive weapons nor will reduce its defense capabilities,” Rouhani said.
“Rather it will increase its defense power day by day. The fact that they are angry at our missiles shows that these are the most influential weapons Iran has.”
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