At least 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard were killed in a suicide attack on Wednesday. The Sunni extremist group Jaish al Adl claimed responsibility for the violence in Sistan-Baluchistan province.
"In this terrorist attack, 27 of Islam's brave warriors were killed and 13 were wounded," read a statement from the Revolutionary Guard. The statement accused "world domination and Zionist intelligence agencies" of being in league with the militants.
The attack occurred when "a car filled with explosives blew up beside a bus."
An image published by the Fars news agency showed an unrecognizable, twisted hunk of metal.
According to the Guard, the assailants carried out the attack to counteract "the victory of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution."
Iran had been in the midst of anniversary celebrations of the day when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Tehran after over 14 years in exile to overthrow the Shah, who was allied with the West.
Later, Guard commander Ali Fadavi issued a searing condemnation of neighboring Pakistan, saying it willingly harbored Jaish al Adl.
"Our response in defense of the Islamic Revolution will not be limited to our borders... The enemies will receive a very firm response from the Revolutionary Guards," he said.
es/rc (AFP, Reuters)