Middle East

Twelve killed in bomb attack on Iranian military parade

Media playback is unsupported on your device
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