Middle East

Twelve killed in bomb attack on Iranian military parade

Media captionAftermath of the parade bombing in Mahabad

Twelve people have been killed and at least 35 wounded in a bomb attack on a military parade in north-western Iran.

No soldiers died, but most of the casualties in the town of Mahabad were said to be women and children.

A provincial governor blamed "counter-revolutionary groups" for the attack, which came on the 30th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war.

Militants have long been active in the area, which is home to a sizeable Kurdish population.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq have also waged a long guerrilla campaign inside Turkey and have regularly clashed with Iranian security forces.

There have been reports of Kurdish political activists being arrested, tried and executed in recent months.

'Time-bomb'

The bomb exploded at about 1020 local time (0650 GMT), Iranian officials said.

An unnamed military official was quoted by the state-run Irib website as saying that it was "a time-bomb planted on a tree among the people".

Speaking in the aftermath of the parade bombing, Vahid Jalalzadeh, the governor of West Azerbaijan province, said the attack was the work of "counter-revolutionary groups".

"The bomb exploded 50 metres from the parade stand," Mr Jalalzadeh told Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency.

He added that among the dead were the wives of two senior military commanders of Mahabad. Four of the injured were in a critical condition.

The parade was one of a number being held across Iran as the country marked 30 years since the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war, a bitter conflict that ran from 1980 to 1988.

More than a million people died during the war.

More on this story