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Man hanged in public in Iran for bombing

TEHRAN, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A man was hanged in public in Iran Monday after the Islamic Revolutionary Court convicted him on charges of bombing a Revolutionary Guard bus last week.

The official Iranian news agency said the man was hanged amid chants of, "Death to America," "Death to Israel" and "Death to the Wahhabis," in reference to the Sunni Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

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The execution took place in Zahedan in southeastern Iran, in the same spot where 11 people were killed and 31 others injured in a bomb explosion Wednesday. While clashes between security forces and drug traffickers often take place in the area, near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iranian officials indicated the bombing of the Revolutionary Guard bus was carried out by an al-Qaida-linked group.

Meanwhile, Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi accused U.S., Israeli and British intelligence services of involvement in a series of attacks in Zahedan in the Sistan and Baluchestan province, including last week's bus bombing.

He told the Iran's al-Alam television that "close cooperation has been underway between American officers and counter-revolutionary agents in Afghanistan, in which U.S. officers have also been involved in drug smuggling."

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Pour-Mohammadi claimed the "terrorists" responsible for the bus attack had "plotted to sow the seed of discord and launch sectarian war in Iran and assassinate Shiite and Sunni scholars."

Iran is a predominantly Shiite state, with a small Sunni minority, many of whom are in the southeastern part.

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