TEHRAN: A Sunni Muslim militant group rooted in Iran’s ethnic Baluch minority has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that has killed four people and wounded dozens outside a police headquarters in a major port city in Iran. The attack in the southeastern port of Chabahar claimed the lives of four police officers and left 35 people wounded, official and semi-official media reported.
State television broke into its regular broadcast to report the attack since such assaults are rare in the Islamic Republic and aired footage of smoke rising over the city. Rahmdel Bameri, a provincial official, said a suicide attacker in a vehicle loaded with explosives drove up to the police headquarters. Police officers blocked the vehicle and started firing at the driver, who then detonated his explosives, he added.
A group called Ansar al-Fuqran issued a statement on its Telegram channels claiming responsibility for the attack, lauding it as “a severe blow to the regime’s security forces.”
“A dedicated Baluch jihadi son targeted the local police headquarters in Chabahar in an effort to combat the regime, resulting in the death and injury of a large number of regime officers,” said the statement. “The Iranian Ansar al-Fuqran Group declares that it has taken to a military action through its warriors as a result of the lack of opportunity for civic activity.”
Iran immediately blamed outside powers for the attack and vowed retribution. “Foreign-backed terrorists kill and wound innocents in Chabahar,” Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wrote on Twitter. —Agencies