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IRAN: Preacher says bomb caused Shiraz explosion

April 14, 2008 |  8:01 am

The preacher who was speaking to followers when a deadly blast went off in his southern Iran mosque Saturday night told an Iranian news agency that the explosion was definitely a bomb. Some Iranian authorities said the explosion in the southern city of Shiraz could have been an accident caused by munitions left as props to commemorate the Iran-Iraq war.

Meanwhile, amateur video of the blast has emerged. Check it out below:

Mohammed Anjavinejad, a mid-ranking cleric who heads an organization that opposes Sunni extremists and Bahais, told the Persian-language Alef News Agency that the blast that interrupted his speech was "without a doubt" caused by a bomb.

Here's a link to the Persian-language Alef news site item and another to an Al Jazeera English report citing the interview. 

Anjavinejad said that some in Shiraz were trying to portray the blast as an accident in order to protect the city's image as a safe haven.

He said eyewitnesses among the hundreds attending his group's Saturday evening gathering saw an unknown person place an object and quickly leave the scene.

He blamed Wahhabi Sunni extremists and Bahais, a faith considered heretical in Iran, for the explosion, which killed 12 people and injured more than 200.

Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Video: Amateur footage of the April 12 explosion in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.