Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Suicide Bombing in Baluchistan

A suicide bomber, affiliated with the terrorist group Jundallah, killed four policemen and wounded a dozen in an attack on a police post in the town of Saravan, in Iranian Baluchistan, near the Pakistani border.

Suicide bombings are very rare in Iran. Jundallah, an Iranian Baluch militant group, has in the past two years attacked the police and revolutionary guards in the province. The group claimed responsibility for this recent attack and said in a statement that the attack was in retaliation for the authorities' destruction of a Sunni religious school in Zabol.

Last year, Jundallah attacked a bus carrying members of IRGC, killing a score of revolutionary guards. This month, the group killed all 16 of the border guards it had kidnapped in June. Jundallah had demanded the release of 200 of its members imprisoned by Iran in return for the border guards.

Political observers in Tehran believe that Jundallah is encouraged, if not directly supported, by the US to destabilize the Islamic Republic.

Jundallah enjoys its support in the predominantly Sunni minority areas of Sistan and Baluchistan, near eastern borders with Pakistan. Other militant groups, such as PJAK, also operate in Sunni regions of Kurdistan and Khuzestan, near western borders with Iraq. Sunni militant groups in the border regions are regarded as potential armed adversaries in any attempt to destabilize Tehran’s government. Terrorist attacks employed by Jundallah, however, are bound to further isolate these groups in the society, especially in the media and the public opinion.

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