Gunmen fired on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday, killing 24 people, half of them members of the Revolutionary Guards, state news agencies reported, in one of the worst attacks ever on the elite force.
State television said the assault, which wounded more than 60 people, targeted a stand where Iranian officials had gathered in the city of Ahvaz to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.
An Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement called the Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the attack. All four attackers were killed. Islamic State militants also claimed responsibility. Neither claim provided evidence.
Women and children also died in the violence, state news IRNA agency quoted an unnamed official source as saying.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) have been the sword and shield of Shi’ite clerical rule since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Guards also play a major role in Iran’s regional interests in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
A video distributed to Iranian media showed soldiers crawling on the ground as gunfire blazed in their direction. One soldier picked up a gun and got to his feet as women and children fled for their lives.