Iran hangs three over mosque bombing

May 30th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, May 30 (Xinhua) Iran Saturday hanged three men convicted in the bombing of a Shia mosque in the southeastern city of Zahedan this week, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The trio were hanged in public near the Amir al-Momenin mosque, the second-largest in the capital of Sistan-Beluchistan province, where the deadly bombing Thursday killed 25 people and wounded at least 125, IRNA quoted a provincial official as saying.

Hojatoeslam Ebrahim Hamidi, the judiciary public relations chief of Sistan-Baluchistan, said the three men were arrested before the bombing and had confessed to providing explosives for the outrage.

“They confessed to illegally bringing explosives into Iran and giving them to the main person behind the bombing,” Hamidi said.

During their trial, the three men, identified as Haji Noti Zehi, Gholam Rasoul Shahoo Zehi and Zabihollah Naroui, were convicted of acting against national security and other crimes, Hamidi said.

They have also been involved in several other bombings in the past, he added.

The pan-Arab television channel Al-Arabiya Friday said an armed Sunni Iranian opposition group, Jundullah (God’s Soldiers), owned responsibility for the bombing.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Saturday condemned the incident and stressed the need for punishing those involved in the blast, IRNA reported.

In a condolence message, Ahmadinejad said “the Sunni and Shia brothers will undoubtedly recognise and neutralise conspiracies through their vigilance”.

He reiterated that the Shia and Sunni people of the province “would not let foreigners be successful in sowing discord among them”.

A senior official of the Sistan-Baluchistan province Friday accused the US of hiring the bombers behind the mosque explosion.

“Three people involved in the terrorist incident have been arrested … the people behind the terrorist act were hired by the United States,” deputy provincial governor Jalal Sayyah was quoted by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency as saying.

The US Friday said that it strongly condemns recent terror attacks in Iran and that it does “not sponsor any form of terrorism.”

“The American people send their deepest condolences to the victims and their families. No cause justifies terrorism, and the United States condemns it in any form, in any country, against any people,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

In the past few years, Iran has often been hit by bombings and armed attacks in its southeastern provinces bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, which the authorities usually blamed on Jundullah.

Iran also blamed the US, Britain and some other Western countries for being behind these attacks, accusing them of trying to destabilise the Islamic country.

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