Sep 23, 2010

Iranian Kurdistan: Bomb Blast Targets Army Parade In The Kurdish City Of Mahabad In Western Iran

Many Iranian Kurds believe the regime is behind a bomb blast which tore through a military parade in Mahabad on Wednesday.


Below is an article published by Medya News:


A bomb has torn through a military parade in the Kurdish city of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan killing 11 people and wounding 58 more as the Islamic republic showcased its weaponry at events marking the start 30 years ago of the bloody Iran-Iraq war.

The bomb, placed just 50 meters from the podium at the parade in West Ajarbaijan province, exploded at around 10:20am local time, officials said.  The Governor of the province has blamed the attack on the “counter revolutionaries” a term commonly used to refer to the Kurdish armed opposition groups.

AFP reported that “Among the dead on Wednesday were the wives of two commanders, an official said, while medics reported 47 people wounded 15 of them seriously.”

Regime’s Governor for the province further added on the state-run television that “This act has foreign origins. Unfortunately America and its allies are present in the region and their support for counter-revolutionaries and hypocrites has been proven.” 

According to a statement released by Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), the main Kurdish opposition party in Iranian Kurdistan, the explosion was caused by a bomb placed near the military parade and not by a suicide bomber as some media outlets claim. 

According to Loghman Ahmedi, the PDKI representative in UK “This kind of attack is unheard of in Iranian Kurdistan and it is highly unlikely that a Kurdish organization has carried out this attack.”

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack; however many Kurdish political organizations believe the regime or regime backed elements are behind the attack.

According to Tabnak news site owned by a former revolutionary guard’s commander the bomb was a sound-breaker kind that was placed on a tree branch in a suite case and those killed and injured were mostly injured in the head by the sound of the bomb. 

Loghman Ahmedi further adds that “it is possible that Islamist organizations supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran might have carried out the attack. Iran supports different extremist groups in order to suppress traditional Kurdish parties.  These groups are being used by Iran in an attempt to curb Kurdish nationalism in Iranian Kurdistan as well as in Iraqi Kurdistan. Some of these groups even controlled large territories around the districts of Halabja and Penjwen in Iraqi Kurdistan on the Iran-Iraq border until 2003, when American Special Forces in coordination with Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga units, managed to force them back into Iran.”

In the PDKI statement, while condemning targeting the civilian population refers to the attack as  “a cowardly act which has also targeted the civilian population and has resulted in the death and injury of women and children.” 

Loghman Ahmedi further elaborates on the extremist groups, active in the Kurdish areas of Iran: “These groups reorganized and resettled, with Iran’s consent and support, in cities like Mariwan, Sanandaj and Paveh in Iranian Kurdistan. These groups have not targeted the Islamic Republic until more recently when a rift between Iran and these groups occurred last year after that Iran arrested and tried to limit these groups’ activities in Kurdistan because some of these groups used anti-Iranian rhetoric.” 

He also believes that “It is also possible that radical units within the Revolutionary Guard carried out the attack in Mahabad. Some of these radical units within the Revolutionary Guard believe that Iran should use more brutal methods to crack down on Kurdish political activists, they believe that the only way to defeat the Kurdish national movement is an all out crack down on Kurdish activists (peaceful or otherwise). An attack like this will give the Revolutionary Guard free hands and unlimited funds to crack down on “counterrevolutionaries” in Kurdistan.”

There is also information about an armed clash than lasted for more than one hour between Revolutionary Guard soldiers and an unidentified armed group in the Kurdish city of Saghez yesterday. 

The clash began when the armed group, while in their vehicle, was attacked by the Revolutionary Guards which led to the killing and injury of a number of revolutionary guards.  A 4 year old boy was also killed in the clashes. 

The armed group have managed to escape unharmed the scene of the clashes, and the revolutionary guards have surrounded the city and its vicinity. 

The bombing in Mahabad came as Iran showed off its military hardware at anniversary parades across the country to commemorate the 1980-88 war with Iraq in which an estimated one million people died.

Showcasing new military hardware at the revolutionary guards disposal, including the long-range Sejil were the star attraction at these parades including the main parade in Tehran.