Gunmen open fire on Iran military parade

Gunmen attacked a military parade in the southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz on 22 September 2018

At least eight members of Iran's elite military have been killed with 20 people wounded in a gun attack during a parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, local media have said.

Semi-official news agency Mehr said further shooting broke out as some of the attackers who managed to escape were being chased.

The attack was carried out by two gunmen on a motorcycle, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in the city of Ahvaz. Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, which has been the site of sporadic protests by Iran's Arab minority.

Tensions between mainly Shi'ite Iran and mostly Sunni Saudi Arabia have surged in recent years, with the two countries supporting opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon.

"Security forces have restored security in the area but the parade has totally been disrupted", a reporter on the scene for Iranian state television said by phone in a live broadcast.

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State television showed images of the immediate aftermath of the attack in Ahvaz.

The Revolutionary Guards are the most powerful and heavily armed military force in the Islamic Republic and also have a vast stake worth billions of dollars in the economy. Paramedics could be seen helping someone in military fatigues lying on the ground.

Iran is also now facing intensified attacks in its Kurdish-majority provinces (Rojhilat) and along its Western border with the Kurdistan Region, where Kurdish opposition groups operate.

"Terrorists recruited, trained, armed, and paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz".

Iran also suffered major attacks by IS extremists on June 7, 2017, when militants assaulted the parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the capital, Tehran.

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