Iran General NewsSeveral killed by bomb blasts in Iran

Several killed by bomb blasts in Iran

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AP: Several people were killed and more injured by three bombs that exploded Sunday morning near government buildings in southwestern Iran, officials and an eyewitness said. The explosions, which come ahead of presidential elections set for Friday, rocked Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province bordering Iraq, and damaged several buildings, an eyewitness told The Associated Press by telephone. An official in the regional governor’s office said several people were killed. Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran – Several people were killed and more injured by three bombs that exploded Sunday morning near government buildings in southwestern Iran, officials and an eyewitness said.

The explosions, which come ahead of presidential elections set for Friday, rocked Ahvaz, capital of Khuzestan province bordering Iraq, and damaged several buildings, an eyewitness told The Associated Press by telephone. An official in the regional governor’s office said several people were killed.

Ahvaz was the site of two days of violent demonstrations in April after reports circulated of an alleged plan to decrease the proportion of Arabs in the area. Officials at the time confirmed one death but opposition groups said more than 20 demonstrators had been killed. Some 250 were arrested.

The protests were sparked after copies of a letter allegedly signed by Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi circulated in the area. The letter ordered the relocation of non-Arabs to the Ahvaz to make them the majority population. Abtahi denied writing the letter.

Arabs make up about 3 percent of Iran’s population, Persians account for 51 percent and other minorities comprise the remainder.

Bomb explosions have been a rare occurrence in Iran since the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

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