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U.S. Condemns Ashura Attack In Iran

An ambulance attends the scene of a bomb blast in this image taken from TV, in Chahbahar Iran, 15 Dec 2010

The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place at a mosque in the city of Chabahar.

The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place at a mosque in the city of Chabahar, in southeastern Iran. The suicide bombing occurred as Shia worshippers commemorated the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohammad. More than forty people were killed and more than a hundred were wounded.

President Barack Obama called the bombing "outrageous." He said in a statement, "The murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship during Ashura [ah-shoo-RAH] is a despicable offense, and those who carried it out must be held accountable. This is a disgraceful and cowardly act.

"This and other similar acts of terrorism recognize no religious, political or national boundaries. The United States condemns all acts of terrorism wherever they occur [and] ... stands with the families and loved ones of those killed and injured, and with the Iranian people in the face of this injustice."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the bombing "yet another example of terrorists using cowardly methods to inflict pain and fear on innocent civilians. The perpetrators of this attack must be held to account for their actions."

The Sunni militant group Jundallah, which the United States has designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Jundallah operates primarily in Iran's Sistan-va-Baluchistan province, where Iran's Baluch minority has been the target of political and economic repression by the government. Since its inception in 2003, Jundallah has conducted many high profile attacks, and in addition to Iranian officials, has wounded or killed hundreds of civilians, including religious and tribal leaders.

In one of its most recent operations in July 2010, Jundallah attacked the Grand Mosque in Zahedan, where approximately 30 people were killed and hundreds injured.

After the bombing in Chabahar, Secretary of State Clinton said in a statement, "The United States condemns all forms of terrorism and sectarian-driven violence, wherever it occurs, and we stand with the victims of these abhorrent and reprehensible acts. The global community must remain vigilant in combating terrorist organizations and individuals that threaten lives in every part of the world."