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UN condemns Iran attack

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 21 – The UN Security Council condemned a suicide attack in Iran at the weekend and gave a higher toll from the blast of at least 57 dead and 150 wounded.

Sunday’s attack at a meeting of commanders of the elite Revolutionary Guards and tribesmen in southeastern Pisheen had been condemned "in the strongest terms," said Le Luong Minh, ambassador of council president Vietnam.

Members "underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice and urged all states… to cooperate actively with the Iranian authorities in this regard."

Iranian officials, who blame the attack on Sunni militants from the Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group that has for years waged war against Iran’s Shiite rulers, had put the toll at 42 dead.

Iran’s UN ambassador, Mohammed Khazaee, had earlier Tuesday urged the Security Council to issue a statement condemning the attack.

"Most surely such a condemnation would convey a strong message to this terrorist group and its supporters that terrorism could not be tolerated wherever and by whomever and in whatever form it is committed," he said.

Although Iranian officials say the attack has been claimed by Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi, Tehran has also accused Britain, Pakistan and the United States of involvement.

The Iranians turned up the heat on Pakistan on Tuesday, saying the Jundallah rebels are based on its territory. Islamabad strongly denied the allegations, saying the attack was an attempt to "spoil ties" with Iran.

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Meanwhile, a prosecutor said three Iranians have been arrested over the attack that hit the heart of Iran’s security apparatus and that a man who accompanied the suicide bomber was being sought.

Fifteen members of the elite Revolutionary Guards were killed in the blast in southeast Iran, state television reported Tuesday.

Dozens of other people were also killed when the bomber blew himself up at a meeting of the Guards and local tribesmen.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon had already issued a statement on Monday condemning the suicide attack.

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