Big Story 10

Sunni militants attack Iran Revolutionary Guards vehicle

DUBAI (Reuters) - Sunni Muslim Baluchi militants attacked a vehicle belonging to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Tuesday in the southeast of the country, which has been hit by unrest in the past week, state broadcaster IRIB reported.

It quoted Mohammad Hadi Marashi, deputy governor of the impoverished Sistan-Baluchestan province, as saying the vehicle belonged to a Guards engineering unit.

The Guards said in a statement that one member of its engineering unit was injured and another was missing after the attack.

Marashi said the attack was carried out by the Sunni militant group Jaish al Adl (“Army of Justice”), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the minority ethnic Baluchis in mainly Shi’ite Muslim Iran.

The group has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including a 2019 suicide bombing on a bus that killed 27 members of the Revolutionary Guards.

In the past Iran has accused its regional rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia, of supporting Sunni separatist groups who have attacked its security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.

Separately, Iranian news agencies said four ethnic Arab militants were executed after being sentenced to death on charges including taking part in an attack on a police station in southwestern Iran in which two police officers were killed.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet last week accused Iran of “persistent impunity for human rights violations” in minority regions, including Sistan-Baluchestan.

Iran has rejected such criticism as politically motivated and based on a lack of understanding of its Islamic laws.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson and Mark Heinrich