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The New Arab Staff

Baloch Sunni militant group target Iran Revolutionary Guards convoy in roadside bombing

Iran accuse Saudi Arabia and US of funding the Balochi separatist group [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2020

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Jaish Al-Adl, which was formed in 2012, have targeted Iranian military and security forces in numerous deadly skirmishes and suicide bombings.

A roadside bomb targeted several vehicles carrying local commanders of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the southeast province on Sistan and Baluchistan in the early hours of Tuesday, injuring one, according to local officials.

Jaish Al-Adl
, a Baloch-dominated Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement shared via popular messaging app Telegram.

The statement, which came through an account associated with the group, also claimed that an IRGC commander "had been killed" in the attack in the Zahedan district of Kurin.

It said that several IRGC personnel were badly hurt in the bombing.

Local provincial authorities denied the claims made by the group, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by both the US and Iran. Iran believes the group is linked to Al-Qaeda.

"IRGC forces were travelling in three vehicles when they encountered two roadside bombs. They were able to defuse one bomb but sadly, another detonated" said Zahedan Governor Feda Hussain Maleki. 

The governor said that a local IRGC commander had suffered minor injuries in the blast. He denied reports that any security personnel had been taken prisoner by the militants.

Jaish Al-Adl describes itself as a Sunni-oriented "justice and equality" militia based in the province of Sistan and Balochistan. It espouses Baloch nationalism and says it is fighting to secure independence for the region.

The group, which was formed in 2012, has targeted Iranian military and security forces in numerous deadly skirmishes and suicide bombings. They have also claimed responsibility for attacks on state installations along the border with Pakistan, a known flashpoint region. 

The Islamic Republic has accused arch-enemies Saudi Arabia and the US of funding the group to foment discord among Iran's large ethnic minority, who are also found in significant numbers over the border in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Jaish Al-Adl came to global attention last year, after a suicide car bomber targeted a bus carrying members of the IRGC force in February, killing 27 troops.

Read more: Tehran arrest suspects in deadly suicide attack on Revolutionary Guards

In July, an IRGC member and a Basij militia fighter were killed in a clash with group.

The attacks raised tensions between Iran and Pakistan, with both sides accusing each other of not acting sufficiently to eliminate armed groups either side of the border.

Jaish Al-Adl emerged as an offshoot to the larger Baloch-dominated Sunni militant group Jundallah, which waged a decade-long insurgency against Iran before it was severely weakened by the capture and execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in 2010.

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