Two Killed in Explosion in Iran, State TV Says

According to the report, a 'terrorist attack' has killed at least three people and wounded several others in the southeastern port city of Chabahar

The aftermath of the explosion in the Iranian city of Chabahar, December 6, 2018.
TASNIM NEWS AGENCY/Reuters

A suicide car bomber attacked a police headquarters in the southeastern Iranian port city of Chabahar on Thursday, killing at least two people and wounding 15, state TV reported.

State television broke into its regular broadcast to report the attack, as such assaults are rare in the Islamic Republic.

Rahmdel Bameri, a provincial official, told state TV that a suicide attacker driving a vehicle loaded with explosives drove up to the police headquarters. He said police officers blocked the vehicle and started firing at the driver, who then detonated his explosives.

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Authorities did not identify who was behind the attack, but Iranian media initially blamed the attack on Ansar al-Furqan, a Sunni jihadi group.

Ansar al-Furqan is known to operate in Iran's southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan Province, which sees occasional attacks by Baluch separatists and drug traffickers. A year ago, the group claimed to blow up an oil pipeline in Iran's southern Khuzestan province.
Chabahar, near Iran's border with Pakistan on the Sea of Oman, is home to a newly built port and is an economic free zone.

State TV also aired footage of smoke rising over the city.

Chabahar, near Iran's border with Pakistan on the Sea of Oman, is home to a new port recently built and is an economic free zone for the country.

The attack comes as Iran's economy reels in the wake of the U.S. re-imposing sanctions lifted by Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

While Iran still complies with the accord, President Donald Trump withdrew America from the deal in part due to Tehran's ballistic missile program, its "malign behavior" in the Mideast and its support of militant groups like Hezbollah.

While rare, Iran has been targeted in recent years by militant attacks.
In September, gunmen disguised as soldiers opened fire on a military parade in Ahvaz, killing and wounding dozens. Arab separatists and the Islamic State group both claimed the assault.

Another coordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50.