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Suicide bomber attacks Khomeini shrine

world Updated: Jun 21, 2009 00:43 IST

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the mausoleum of the father of Iran’s revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, state media said on Saturday, in an attack coinciding with more unrest over a disputed presidential vote.

“A few minutes ago a suicide bomber exploded himself in the shrine,” police official Hossein Sajedinia was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying.

Two people were wounded in the incident in the northern wing of the shrine, another news agency, Fars, said.

The reported attack on Khomeini’s mausoleum seemed likely to stir outrage among Iranians who deeply revere the Shi’ite
cleric who led the 1979 revolution that toppled the US-backed shah.

The past week of protests have been the most widespread expression of anti-government feeling since the revolution.

Iran’s highest legislative body said it was ready to recount a random 10 percent of the votes cast in the June 12 poll to
meet the complaints of Mirhossein Mousavi and two other candidates who lost to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mousavi, whose supporters have staged vast unauthorised rallies in the past week, has demanded the election be annulled.

Security forces had turned out in strength to prevent any further rallies in the Iranian capital, a day after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told protest leaders they would be responsible for any bloodshed if unrest continued.

A police commander said that his forces would deal firmly with any more street protests over the June 12 vote.

The Etemad-e Melli party of losing candidate Mehdi Karoubi said plans for a rally had been scrapped for lack of a permit and an ally of runner-up Mirhossein Mousavi said the moderate politician had not summoned his followers back to the

Witnesses said they had seen Basij Islamic militia deploying across Tehran and one resident saw at least three buses full of Basij heading for the capital from the nearby city of Karaj on Saturday, as well as four trucks full of the motorcycles used by Basij militiamen during previous demonstrations.

“If there is any bloodshed, leaders of the protests will be held directly responsible,” the white-bearded Khamenei told huge crowds thronging Tehran University for Friday prayers.