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Eight reported killed in terrorist attack on Iranian military parade

"Shooting began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade. There are several killed and injured," a correspondent told state television.
Eight or nine military personnel are reported killed after gunmen opened fire during a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, Iranian media reported.

"Shooting began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade. There are several killed and injured," a correspondent told state television.More than 20 were injured in the attack, local officials told ISNA. Of the four attackers, two were killed by security forces and two were arrested, the officials said.

Eyewitnesses reported that the attackers were wearing military dress and that the shooting lasted for several minutes, the semi-official Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported. Participants and spectators of the parade threw themselves to the ground at the sound of the gunfire. State television blamed "takfiri elements," a reference to Islamist militants, for the attack in Ahvaz, the center of Khuzestan province, which has been the site of sporadic protests by Iran's Arab minority.

A spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps blamed the attack on a local Ahvaz terrorist group, and said that the attackers directed their fire at civilians in the crowd as well as members of the armed forces participating in the parade, ISNA reported.

This is not the only recent terrorist incident on Iranian soil. Last June, Islamic State suicide bombers and gunmen attacked Iran's parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, killing twelve. Armed militias affiliated with Kurdish and Balochi separatist movements continue to carry out armed attacks on Iranian military and state institutions.

The parade in Ahvaz, and others held around the country, marks the 37th anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, the longest and bloodiest conflict in Iran's modern history.Speaking at an event in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected US President Donald Trump's threats and condemnation of the country's missile program.

"America will suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein," Rouhani said in a speech carried live by state television. "Iran will not abandon its defensive weapons ... including its missiles that make America so angry."


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