Iran hangs Baloch rebels a week after bombing

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December 21, 2010 19:19

Most hangings are carried out in the public in Iran. Photo - rodrigo_bravo_d

Who: Militants linked to Jundollah, a Sunni Baloch rebel group.

What: Iran hanged 11 members of the Baloch rights group Jundallah which it said accepted the responsibility for last week’s deadly suicide bombing of a Shia mourning procession. “These corrupt and enemies of God have been identified and arrested by security and intelligence forces,” Ebrahim Hamidi, the head of the provincial justice department, said. Amnesty International flayed the hangings. “Last week’s bombing was an atrocious act and we strongly condemn it, but so too do we condemn these executions, which have the hallmark of an act of retaliation, not justice,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Where: The hangings took place in southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, the capital of Baloch majority Sistan-Balochistan province.

When: The hangings took place on Monday morning, the Iranian media reported.

Why: Jundollah (Army of God) said the attack was in retaliation for the execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in June. The group claims it is fighting for the rights of the province’s majority Sunni ethnic Baloch community which is facing discrimination from Shia-majority Iran. Those hanged on Monday included some who had carried out attacks against Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards members, a regular target of Jundallah, IRNA reported.

How: Three of the hanged were convicted of killing nearly 30 Revolutionary Guards in separate attacks, while another was hanged for providing logistical support during a bombing of a mosque in Zahedan. Iranian officials charge that the Baloch extremist group is receiving support from the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and Pakistan. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari to arrest and hand over “known terrorists,” according to a statement published on the president’s website.

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