Iran suicide bombing kills 27 Revolutionary Guard personnel
Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Fars news agency
A bus carrying members of Iran's elite paramilitary force has been targeted in a suicide bombing in the country's southeast, leaving at least 20 people dead and 20 more wounded, according to a state news agency.
Private news agency Tasnim reported twenty seven members of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been killed in the suicide attack in southeast Iran on Wednesday, .
The attack came on the day of a US-led conference in Warsaw that included discussions on what America describes as Iran's malign influence across the wider Middle East.
Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni militant group seeking greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Fars news agency.
The heavy losses among Iran's premier military force prompted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander to issue a warning to the country's foes.
"Our response in defence of the Islamic Revolution will not be limited to our borders," Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by Fars.
"The enemies will receive a very firm response from the Revolutionary Guards like before." He did not specify which enemies or what actions Tehran would take.
Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighbouring country to crack down on them.
The incident took place in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan province, which lies on a major opium trafficking route and has seen occasional clashes between Iranian forces and Baluch separatists, as well as drug traffickers.
The IRGC is a major economic and military power in Iran, answerable only to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
While Iran has been enmeshed in the wars engulfing Syria and neighbouring Iraq, it largely has avoided the bloodshed plaguing the region. In 2009, more than 40 people, including six Guard commanders, were killed in a suicide attack by Sunni extremists in Sistan and Baluchistan province.
A coordinated June 7, 2017 ISIS group assault targeted the Iranian parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. At least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
And most recently, an attack on a military parade in September in Iran's oil-rich southwest killed over 20 and wounded over 60.
Updated: February 14, 2019 05:27 AM