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Pakistan denounces attack on Iranian military parade

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has strongly denounced the attack on Iranian military parade in which gunmen opened fire killing at least twenty-four people and around sixty others were injured.

In a statement, the foreign office said that Pakistan is against terrorism and stands with the families of victims in this time of grief.

Gunmen fired on a military in the city of Ahwaz killing 24 people, half of them members of the Revolutionary Guards, state news agencies reported.

Iranian state television said the assault, which wounded more than 60 people, targeted a stand where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.

“There are a number of non-military victims, including women and children who had come to watch the parade,” state news IRNA agency quoted an unnamed official source as saying.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) have been the sword and shield of clerical rule since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Guards also play a major role in Iran’s regional interests in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

“Three of the terrorists were killed on the spot and a fourth one who was injured died in hospital,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, told state television.

Ali Hosein Hoseinzadeh, deputy governor in Khuzestan province, was quoted as saying the death toll was expected to rise. One of those killed was a journalist.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in the city of Ahvaz.

State television blamed “takfiri elements”, a reference to militants for the attack. Ahvaz is in the center of Khuzestan province, where there have been sporadic protests by the Arab minority.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the assault was the handiwork of “regional terror sponsors” and “their U.S. masters”. He vowed Tehran would respond decisively.

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