Several killed as gunmen attack military parade in Iran

Casualties feared as militants attack Iran army parade

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

Militants shot dead at least 11 people at a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, state media reported, in a rare attack.

"There are a number of non-military victims, including women and children who had come to watch the parade", the agency quoted an unnamed official source as saying.

The report called the attackers "Takifiri gunmen", a description that has previously been used for members of the "Islamic State" (IS) group.

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The semiofficial Fars news agency said two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing khaki uniforms carried out the attack.

Iran holds "regional terror sponsors" and their "US masters" responsible for the attack, he said. Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, where there have been sporadic protests by the Arab minority in predominantly Shi'ite Iran.

Among those involved are members of the Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Unknown gunmen opened fire on people from behind the stand during the parade held to mark the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran which led to an eight-year war in the 1980s, Press TV reported.

Mojtaba Zonnour, a member of the Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Tehran-based al-Alam News Network that the number of the martyred of a Saturday terrorist attack at a military parade in Ahvaz has risen to 29, with 57 injured, including women and children. The Guard also has vast holdings in Iran's economy.

Bloodied troops could be seen in combat fatigues, helping each other walk away in images from Iranian news service ISNA. Other armed security personnel shouted at each other in front of what appeared to be a viewing stand.

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At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the 2017 attack that saw gunmen carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and explosives storm the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress, starting an hours-long siege. The assault shocked Tehran, which has seen few militant attacks in the decades after the tumult surrounding the Islamic Revolution.

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