These are the last moments of two Jundollah suicide bombers, Mohammad Rigi, and Abdolbaset Rigi, who posed for the camera as explosive vests are strapped on them before they went on to detonate the devices outside a mosque in Zahedan, Iran, killing 28 people.
Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundollah has claimed responsibility for the attack near the Grand Mosque in Zahedan, which it says was in retaliation for the execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi last month.
Iranian clerical leaders have claimed the attack was supported by the U.S. in order to create instability in the Middle East country.
The powerful bombs killed at least 28 people at the holy site, including elite members of the Revolutionary Guard, and were apparently carried out by relatives of Abdolmalek Rigi.
Al Arabiya television reported: ’The group said the suicide attacks were carried out by Abdolbaset Rigi and Mohammad Rigi... and warned of more operations to come.’
Senior Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the U.S. should be held accountable for the ’terrorist acts in Zahedan’ because of its support for Jundollah.
Cleric Kazem Sediqi said in a sermon broadcast on state radio today: ’Once more the wicked hand of America appeared out of the sleeves of ignorant and mercenary people.’The White House has denied the allegations.
Iran is locked in a dispute with the U.S. and its allies over Tehran’s nuclear programme, which the West says is designed to produce nuclear weapons and Iranian officials say aims to generate power.
The head of the medical school at Sistan-Baluchestan province, Mansour Shakiba, said the attacks had killed at least 28 people and injured more than 169.
Iran’s deputy Interior Minister in charge of security, Ali Abdollahi, confirmed a number of Revolutionary Guards were among those killed and injured.
Abdolmalek Rigi was arrested in February, four months after Jundollah claimed responsibility for a bombing which killed dozens of people, including 15 Revolutionary Guards.It was the deadliest attack in Iran since the 1980s.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the attacks ’in the strongest possible terms’.
She said: ’This attack, along with the recent attacks in Uganda, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Algeria, underscores the global community’s need to work together to combat terrorist organisations that threaten the lives of innocent civilians all around the world.’
Iran says Jundollah has links to al Qaeda and in the past has accused Pakistan, Britain and the U.S of supporting its efforts to create instability in south east Iran.
All three countries have denied this, and Jundollah denies it has links with al Qaeda.
In May last year, a suicide bomber killed 30 people and wounded more than 120 in an attack on a mosque in Zahedan.
Iran is struggling with ethnic and religious tensions in the southeastern province, where authorities have responded to attacks by carrying out hangings.