Iran: Gunmen attack military parade, 8 Revolutionary Guard members killed

Unknown gunmen 'kill, injure several' in attack on Iranian army parade

The attack took place on a day when military parades were being staged across the country to mark the anniversary of Iran's eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.

This came hours after Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed a "foreign regime" for the attack.

Despite the Trump administration's touchy relations with Iran, the USA government strongly deplored the attack, saying that "the United States condemns all acts of terrorism and the loss of any innocent lives". Gunfire rang out in the background.

"It has been reported that four or five of the elements of the terrorist incident were killed by security and law enforcement forces", IRNA said. "People have been killed but we have no figures yet".

The shooting lasted for about 10 minutes.

He added that the gunmen were "terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime".

Ahvaz is the capital of Khuzestan province, an oil-rich region where Arab separatists have been known to attack oil pipelines in the past.

People of Ahvaz who are majority Sunni Arabs have very strong tribal ties to their cousins on the other side of the water divide which is Shat Al Arab, and are severely persecuted and discriminated by Tehran.

The allegation will nearly certainly ratchet up tensions with Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, who along with the United States have been working to isolate the Islamic Republic.

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Reports of how the attack unfolded remained unclear immediately afterward. The semi-official Fars news agency, which is close to the Guard, said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.

The president of Iran has labelled the United States a "bully" after an attack on a military parade where at least 29 people were killed.

The death toll continued to climb on Saturday and is expected to rise further as some victims, including women and children, were critically injured in the armed assault.

Two of the terrorists have reportedly been arrested and shifted to an unknown location for interrogation.

Women and children also died in the assault, state news IRNA agency reported. Iran has been deeply involved in the fight against IS in Iraq and has aided embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's long war.

Khuzestan province also has seen recent protests over Iran's nationwide drought, as well as economic protests.

Meanwhile, Guard spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif told ISNA that an Arab separatist group carried out the attack, without elaborating.

On June 7, 2017 in Tehran, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in simultaneous attacks on the parliament and on the tomb of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - the first inside Iran claimed by ISIS. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the attacks.

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