Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his “deepest condolences” to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after a terrorist attack on an army parade in southwestern Iran left multiple people killed and wounded, denouncing the “bloody crime” and calling for an “uncompromising” joint combat against terrorism in all of its forms and “manifestations.”
The Russian leader made the comments in a message sent to his Iranian counterpart on Saturday, a few hours after four gunmen, disguised in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij uniforms, opened fire on people from behind a viewing stand at Quds Boulevard in the city of Ahvaz during the parade held to mark the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in the 1980s.
Deputy Governor of Khuzestan Province Ali Hossein Hosseinzadeh told Iran’s Mehr News Agency that the death toll had risen to 25 from an initial figure of 10. He added that at least 60 other people had sustained injury. A four-year-old boy was also among those who had received fatal wounds.
Three of the terrorists were shot dead at the scene while a fourth was arrested and later succumbed to his wounds, armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said.
“Please accept the deepest condolences regarding the tragic consequences of the raid by terrorists in Ahvaz. We are appalled by this bloody crime,” said Putin in his message, a copy of which was posted on the Kremlin website.
“We expect that everyone involved will face a deserved punishment. This event once again reminds us about the necessity of an uncompromising battle against terrorism in all of its manifestations. I would like to confirm our readiness to continue building cooperation with Iranian partners in resisting this evil,” the Russian leader added.
Putin also extended his heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved and wished speedy recovery to the wounded.
The Saudi-backed al-Ahvaziya terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) only used the word “attack” for the act of terror.
Similarly, Reuters and others described the incident as an “attack” instead of a terrorist one, whereas they have been quick to use “terrorist attack” for similar incidents that have taken place in Europe over the past few years.
Meanwhile, the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack but provided no evidence for the claim.