1. Home
  2. World
  3. Death Comes Smiling: Faces Of Suicide

Death Comes Smiling: Faces Of Suicide Bombers Who Killed 39 People In Iran

PTI 16 Dec 2010, 10:29:56 IST
Chilling photographs of two men believed to behind the bombing of a mosque in Iran show them looking relaxed and smiling at the camera as they pose in their explosive vests before carrying out the deadly attacks, The Daily Mail, London reported.

The suicide bomb attacks killed at least 39 people, including a newborn baby, during a Shi'ite religious ceremony in the southeastern Iranian city of Chabahar on Wednesday.

The men, thought to be Hessan Khashi and Saiful Rahman Chabahari were members of Sunni Muslim militant group Jundallah (Soldiers of God).

Hessan Khashi (left) and Saiful Rahman Chabahar are allegedly behind the bombing of a mosque in Iran that left 39 people dead and a further 90 injured.   

One of the men was arrested before he managed to detonate his vest and a third man was also arrested in connection with the attacks.

In another picture, Khashi and Chabahrari can be seen posing together brandishing machine guns whilst holding their explosive vests up for the camera.

The attack, which injured a further 90 people, took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said.

The bombers targeted a group of worshippers at a mourning ceremony a day before Ashoura, which commemorates the seventh century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most beloved saints.

Sunni militant group called Jundallah have claimed responsibility in a statement posted on its website.

The group has carried out sporadic attacks in Iran's southeast to fight alleged discrimination against the area's Sunni minority in overwhelmingly Shiite Iran.

Suspected suicide bombers Saiful Rahman Chabahari (left) and Hessan Khashi were spotted just prior the attacks in the Iranian city of Chabahar. One of the men was arrested before detonating his vest

The group said Wednesday's attack was a second act of revenge for the execution of its leader, Abdulmalik Rigi, in June.

'This operation is a warning to the Iranian regime that it must end its interference in the religious affairs of the Sunnis, stop executions and release the prisoners,' said the Internet statement.

'Otherwise, martyrdom operations will continue with a stronger forcer.'

One of the attackers detonated a bomb outside the mosque and the other struck from within a crowd of worshippers, state TV reported.

Security forces shot one of them, but the bomber was still able to detonate the explosives, the report added, quoting deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi.

Mahmoud Mozaffar, a senior Iranian Red Crescent Society official, said emergency services had been put on alert over the past few days because of anonymous threats.

The deputy interior minister blamed Sunni militants, an apparent reference to Jundallah.

'Evidence and the kind of equipment used suggest that the terrorists were affiliated with extremist...groups backed by the U.S. and intelligence services of some regional states,' Abdollahi told state TV.

Blood stains on the road near the mosque in the Iranian city of Chabahar which killed at least 39 people. The mosque was packed with worshipers who had gathered for a Shiite religious procession

Iranian officials claim Jundallah, which has operated from bases in Pakistan, receives support from Western powers, including the United States.

Washington denies any links to the group, and in November the State Department added Jundallah to a U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

President Barack Obama condemned the attack and said the United States stands with the loved ones of those killed and with the Iranian people.

'This and other similar acts of terrorism recognize no religious, political or national boundaries. The United States condemns all acts of terrorism wherever they occur'.

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said the bombing sought to create sectarian splits in the country.

'The aim of the terrorists...is to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis,' he said. 'Such actions can be done only by the Zionist regime and the U.S.'

In July, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in the same province, Sistan-Baluchestan, killing at least 28 people.

Jundallah had said that attack was also carried out in revenge for the execution of its leader a month earlier.

The group has also attacked members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the country's most powerful military force.

In its deadliest strike, a suicide bomber hit a meeting between Guard commanders and Shiite and Sunni tribal leaders in the border town of Pishin in October 2009, killing 42 people, including 15 Guard members.