Rare Bomb Explosions Kill Nine in Iran
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran - Four bombs exploded in the capital of
an oil-rich province on the Iranian border with
Iraq on Sunday, killing at least eight people and
wounding at least 36, state-run television reported.
Hours later, another bomb in central Tehran killed one
person a spree coming just days before the nation's
The bombings were the deadliest in Iran in more than a
At least four women were among those killed in the
explosions in Ahvaz, capital of the southwestern
Khuzestan province. At least two of the explosions
were caused by car bombs, witnesses said.
Gholamreza Shariati, deputy provincial governor for
security affairs, said the bombers were seeking to
undermine public participation in Friday's
Television footage showed shattered windows, collapsed
walls and blood stains on the ground. The force of the
explosions also damaged cars in the streets. Shariati
said 36 people, including eight police officers, were
After the first three blasts, disposal experts tried
to defuse a fourth bomb but failed, and it exploded,
injuring one officer.
Amir Hossein Motahar, director of security at the
Interior Ministry, said one bomb went off in front of
the Ahvaz governor's office and another next to the
city's housing department.
The third bomb blew up in front of the residence of
the head of the provincial radio and television
station, he said. The fourth bomb was placed near the
Shariati said intelligence and security officials were
investigating the bombings, which targeted "Iran's
territorial integrity as it was on the verge of
Later Sunday, one person was killed and four were
injured in an explosion near Tehran's central Imam
Hussein square, state-run television reported.
State-run radio said the blast was caused by a bomb.
Ahvaz was the site of two days of violent
demonstrations in April after reports circulated of an
alleged plan to decrease the proportion of Arabs in
the area. Officials at the time confirmed one death
but opposition groups said more than 20 demonstrators
had been killed. Some 250 were arrested.
The protests were sparked after copies of a letter
allegedly signed by Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi
circulated in the area. The letter ordered the
relocation of non-Arabs to the Ahvaz to make them the
majority population. Abtahi denied writing the letter.
Arabs make up about 3 percent of Iran's population of
69 million, Persians account for 51 percent and other
minorities comprise the remainder.
Bomb explosions have been a rare occurrence in Iran
since the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.