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April 14, 2008
Confusion over Mosque Blast in Iran
An explosion that ripped through a crowded Mosque in Shiraz, Iran killing 12 and injuring 202 people may have been caused by a bomb according to local authorities.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government insists it was an accident:
Television pictures showed shards of glass and piles of debris inside the mosque and huge crowds gathered to await news of loved ones. Casualties, their clothes soaked with blood, filled local hospitals. Unrest among minorities in Iran has been growing in recent years as President Ahmadinejad has cracked down on anything and anyone who isn't a Shia. Arabs, Kurds, Jews, and Christians are just a few of the groups who have suffered under the oppression of the Iranian government.
"Last night's incident ... was definitely an accident. We are studying the cause, but as of now but main reason is not clear," Deputy Interior Minister Abbas Mohtaj told the Mehr news agency.
But other sources indicated that the possibility of a militant attack had not been ruled out.
"A judicial probe has been launched to determine the cause of the explosion and the possibility of sabotage," Shiraz prosecutor Jaber Baneshi told IRNA. Shiraz MP Mohammad Nabi Roodaki said the explosion could have been caused by unknown people deliberately setting off the munitions used in the Iraq war exhibition, the student ISNA news agency reported.
Anjavinejad himself cast doubt on the accident theory, saying that the force of the blast and the presence of an individual who planted a package before his sermon suggested otherwise
The confusion over whether it was an act of terror or not will probably continue since the national authorities don't seem very interested in pursuing an investigation. It is probable they either don't want to know or have a good idea who it was and deal with the perpetrators later.