Rare suicide car bombing in Iran

The Ansar Al-Furqan group claimed responsibility for attacking a police headquarters in the Iranian port city of Chabahar on Thursday, December 6.
In a statement Friday, Ansar Al-Furqan claimed that a “martyrdom operation” destroyed the Chabahar police headquarters, killing at least three people and wounded another 40 according to state TV.


The al-Qaeda-linked group said in twitter that its members used a booby-trapped Nissan type van to target a police headquarters in Chabahar.
It confirmed that it targeted Iran’s Police in the city where India was developing a port to compete with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port that is being developed by Chinese companies.


IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said police prevented multiple assailants from entering the building just before 10 a.m. (0630 GMT). The driver of the vehicle, a Toyota van, then detonated the bomb outside the station, Marashi said.

 

Chabahar is the southernmost city in Iran and largest in Sistan and Balochistan province, near the border with Pakistan, which has a significant Baloch population. The city is a free trade zone and India has significant investments in the seaport.


In June 2017, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said that a Chabahar-based Ansar al-Furqan cell had been dismantled and arms, ammunition and explosives seized.


Ansar Al-Furqan, also known as Ansar Al Furqan Al Moujahedeen fi Iran, is a Sunni Baloch militant organization active in Sistan and Baluchestan insurgency and a designated terrorist organization by Iran. The group was established in December 2013 by a merger of Harakat al-Ansar and Hizbul-Furqan. During the 2017-18 Iranian protests, Ansar Al-Furqan claimed responsibility for bombing an oil pipeline in Ahvaz, a city located in Iran's Khuzestan province.


While suicide bombings are rare in Iran, there have been other militant attacks.


In September, gunmen disguised as soldiers opened fire on a military parade in Ahvaz, killing and wounding dozens. Arab separatists and Islamic State both claimed responsibility.


In October, 12 Iranian security personnel were abducted in Sistan and Balochistan on the volatile border with Pakistan.  Five of the security personnel, which included border guards, militamen and IRGC members, were freed last month after Pakistan secured their release.


The kidnapping was claimed by Jaish al-Adl, an insurgent group founded by members of the Sunni jihadist group Jundallah that has targeted Iranian security personnel throughout the province in recent years.


In June last year a coordinated Isis assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50.


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