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3 ARRESTED OVER BALUCHISTAN BOMBING

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Three Iranians have been arrested in connection to Sunday’s Pisheen Bombing in the country’s southeast that killed at least 42 people, authorities said on Tuesday 10/20/2009.

A leading prosecutor on Tuesday said police detained the three on suspicion of involvement in the Pisheen Bombing that struck the heart of the country’s security forces in Sistan-Baluchestan.

“Due to security reasons, I am not giving the details of their names, but these terrorists are Iranians,” Mohammad Marziah, the prosecutor in Zahedan, the provincial capital, told Iran’s Fars news agency. Authorities are also seeking a man who accompanied the suicide bomber, Marziah said.

A Sunni group, Jundallah, has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Iranian authorities have accused Pakistan of having links to the bombers, a charge Pakistan denies.

Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran’s foreign minister, said members of the group accused of mounting the attack regularly criss-cross the frontier with Pakistan.

Also on Tuesday, a senior commander called for permission to go into Pakistan to hunt for who he called “terrorists”, state television reported.

Brigadier-General Mohammad Pakpour, the head of the Revolutionary Guards ground forces, said his forces are ready to confront those believed responsible for the attacks.

“So far Pakistan has not co-operated with us and today the main counter-revolutionary sanctuary is Pakistan,” the AFP news agency quoted Pakpour as saying.

Earlier, Major-General Muhammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, named the prime suspect behind the bombing as Abdolmalek Rigi – who is believed to be based in Pakistan (see – Baluchistan-Rigi). He also expressed his belief that USA and UK intelligence services were involved and that there would “have to be retaliatory measures to punish them”.

“Pakistan is not involved in terrorist activities … we are striving to eradicate this menace,” he said.

Washington has also denied involvement with the group, which it has labeled as a “terrorist” organization, and has condemned the attack.
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