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Most of those behind Ahvaz terrorist attack arrested: intelligence chief

Most of those behind Ahvaz terrorist attack arrested: intelligence chief

At least 29 people, including children, were killed and 70 others injured in an assault on the Iranian military on Saturday.

Four militants attacked the Saturday parade marking the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, spraying the crowd with gunfire and killing 24 people.

Among those buried was Mohammad Taha Eghdami, a four-year-old boy, who was the youngest victim of the attack.

Describing the attack on defenseless people as an act of cowardice, the Leader noted, "According to [available] reports, this cowardly act has been perpetrated by the same people who are saved by Americans whenever they face a hard situation in Iraq and Syria" and whose operations are being financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran has declared today a national day of mourning.

"Based on reports, this cowardly act was done by people who the Americans come to help when they are trapped in Syria and Iraq, and are paid by Saudi Arabia and the UAE", Khamenei said on his website.

But Senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.

Tehran accused Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark of harbouring terrorists after the attack on a parade ground in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, centre of Iran's Arab minority.

Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard, was at a funeral for one of the attack's victims when he reportedly said, "You have seen our revenge before".

Three Arab activists said that security forces, especially the intelligence branch of the Revolutionary Guards, had detained more activists in Ahvaz.

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The mourners, mostly wearing black, carried pictures of the dead along with banners reading "we will stand to the end" and "no to terrorism".

The ceremony in front of the Sarallah Mosque was attended by thousands of people including soldiers, clerics and officials.

Iranian news agency Irna reported on Saturday that Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom has been accused of providing shelter to opposition groups in the Asian country, according to Reuters.

Two groups have claimed responsibility for the attack: the ethnic Arab antigovernment Ahvaz National Resistance and the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Rouhani's accusations.

It is, however, highly unlikely the Guards will strike any of its foes directly and risk setting off a regional conflict.

President Trump said in late July that he'd be willing to meet with Iran's leaders, including President Hassan Rouhani, at "any time".

The accusation will nearly certainly antagonize Iran's regional foe Saudi Arabia.

It answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and runs its own business empire in Iran, a major oil producer that has been relatively stable compared with Arab states that have grappled with unrest since uprisings in 2011.

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