Sunday, May 31, 2009
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian security officials defused a bomb planted on a domestic passenger plane, officials said on Sunday, the latest incident of violence ahead of next month’s presidential election.
The attempted bomb attack occurred on Saturday on a Kish Air flight headed to Tehran from the oil-rich western city of Ahvaz near the border with Iraq, the Fars news agency reported.
“Last night, 15 minutes after the plane with 131 passengers took off, flight security guards found a handmade bomb placed in the lavatory,” Fars said. “The plane landed immediately at Ahvaz airport and the bomb was defused.”
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The incident occurred just two days after 25 people were killed in a powerful bomb attack on a mosque in Zahedan in southeastern Iran claimed by a shadowy Sunni rebel group.
“Security officials of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards acted well and the incident caused no casualties,” Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation, told the state broadcaster.
A top security official blamed Iran’s “enemies” for the plane bomb, saying they wanted to stoke tensions ahead of the June 12 presidential election.
“The suspicious package and the details of the sabotage operation in the Tehran-Ahvaz Boeing is under investigation,” Mohammad Hassan Kazemi, the head of the Revolutionary Guards aviation security operations, told the official IRNA news agency.
Full story here.