Iran executes 3 members of Sunni Militant Group in Revolutionary Guard bombing case

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Iran hanged three members of a Sunni Muslim armed group for bomb attacks.

IRAN, Nov 13, (Agencies): Iran has carried out the execution of three individuals affiliated with a Sunni Muslim armed group convicted of orchestrating a bomb attack targeting the country’s influential Revolutionary Guard. The trio received the death penalty for their involvement in the 2019 bombing in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. The judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported their execution by hanging on Monday.

According to the judiciary, the men were sentenced to death for their roles in bomb attacks directed at a police station and a patrol vehicle in Zahedan, the provincial capital. The attacks resulted in a suicide bomber killing 27 Revolutionary Guard members and injuring 13 others, constituting a bold assault on Iran’s most powerful military institution.

Additionally, the individuals were found guilty of being members of the Sunni Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) group, designated as a “terrorist” organization by Iran. The group, formed in 2012, claimed responsibility for the attack. Provincial Chief Justice Ali Mostafavinia noted that the defendants were also convicted of “receiving military training, transferring, and hiding bomb-making materials.”

Jaish al-Adl and its affiliated groups, based in neighboring Pakistan, have faced accusations of cross-border attacks against Iranian forces. Iran’s President at the time of the 2019 attack, Hassan Rouhani, condemned the bombing, vowing that all perpetrators and those responsible for the act would be punished.

The Sistan-Baluchistan province, bordering Pakistan and marked by poverty, has witnessed unrest involving drug-smuggling gangs, Baluchi minority rebels, and Sunni Muslim armed groups over the years.

Iran consistently ranks among the top countries globally in terms of annual executions, surpassed only by China, according to human rights organizations, including Amnesty International. Earlier this year, the UN human rights chief, Volker Turk, criticized Iran’s “abominable” record of executions, averaging more than 10 hangings per week. Iran has already executed over 600 people this year, the highest figure in eight years, as reported by the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group in November. In 2015, Iran carried out 972 death sentences, according to the UN. Iran has also faced criticism for issuing death sentences and executing individuals detained during last year’s anti-government protests, despite objections from human rights groups.

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