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38 killed in Iran blasts

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 38 people at a Shia mourning ceremony, state media reported.

world Updated: Dec 16, 2010 00:12 IST

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 38 people at a Shia mourning ceremony, state media reported. The attack took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in the port city of Chahbahar, near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said.

The bombers targeted a group of worshippers at a mourning ceremony a day before Ashoura, which commemorates the seventh century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein, one of Shia Islam's most beloved saints.

Southeastern Iran is home to an armed Sunni militant group, Jundallah, or Soldiers of God, which has waged sporadic attacks to fight alleged discrimination against the area's Sunni minority in overwhelmingly Shia Iran.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the use of multiple suicide attackers to target Shia worshippers is a tactic the group has employed in the past.

One of the attackers detonated a bomb outside the mosque and the other struck from inside a crowd of worshippers, state TV reported. Security forces shot one of them, but the bomber was still able to detonate the explosives, the report said, quoting deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi. A third attacker was arrested.

Forensic official Fariborz Ayati put the number of dead at 38.