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    Death toll in Iran suicide blast rises to 49 - media

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    The death toll in a suicide bomber attack in southeastern Iran has risen to 49, local news agencies reported Sunday.

    MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll in a suicide bomber attack in southeastern Iran has risen to 49, local news agencies reported Sunday.

    Earlier 35 people were reported to have been killed by a suicide bomber including six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and 29 other people in one of the deadliest attacks on Iran's elite military institution.

    The attack occurred early on Sunday in the Pishin district of Sistan-Baluchistan province in the country's volatile southeast near the border with Pakistan and injured several dozen as officers were preparing to stage a meeting between tribal leaders from Shia and Sunni communities.

    Two high-ranking commanders among those dead included the deputy head of the Guards' ground forces, General Nourali Shoushtari, and the Guards' commander in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, General Rajabali Mohammadzadeh.

    Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani accused the United States of being involved in the explosion, but the White House denied any involvement and condemned the attack.

    Press TV reported that Sunni rebel group Jundullah hiding in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the blast.

    The Revolutionary Guards is an elite force loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader.

     

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