Bomb Blast! Violence Mars Iranian Election- One Dead
Update: At least two bomb blasts went off in Iran in the last 24 hours. One of the blasts was outside of the governate building in southeast Iran.
At least one person is dead!
The official Iranian Fars News reported that two bombs went off yesterday in southeast Iran!
Hardliner Islamists brawled with reformists on the streets of Tehran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows his blue inked finger after voting at a polling station in Narmak Grand mosque in Tehran. Iranians voted in the first election test for Ahmadinejad since taking power, with their leaders urging a mass turnout to serve as a message to the West.(AFP/Behrouz Mehri)
A person was killed in a bomb blast in Iran’s Baluchistan region and hardline Islamists attacked several reformist candidates in Teheran on Friday marring elections regarded as the first real test of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s popularity since he took office in August 2005. The bomb exploded in the Baluchistan capital, Zahedan, near the regional government’s headquarters – an attack claimed by the separatist Jondollah group. Another bomb blast also struck the city, but no injuries were reported.
Ethnic Baluchis have been protesting because none of their candidates were allowed to stand for positions in the Assembly of Experts, a body which will choose Iran’s supreme leader. All the candidates for the 86 member Assembly of Experts had to be approved by a conservative panel.
Millions of Iranian voters were also casting ballots in local government elections where 247,000 candidates are running for 113,000 seats on town councils. The reformists have managed to form a single list, unlike conservatives aligned to Ahmadinejad.
In Teheran, the deputy armed forces chief General Hossein Zolfaghari told reporters that several people were injured in the clashes involving the hardliners and reformists, however he said that voting was going ahead “regularly”.
There is another report from Iranian Fars News that 2 bombs went off yesterday in southeastern Iran- one was a car bomb.
Update: One of the blasts exploded in front of the governate building according to the Middle East Times:
“The explosive material was planted in a car at a Zahedan [the provincial capital] street, where the governorate general’s building is located,” said the top local security official, Mohsen Sadeghi.
A Zahedan MP, Payman Forouzesh, said that the fatal explosion was caused by a percussion bomb and was followed by another similar blast.
“Another percussion bomb in front of the university planted in a trash can went off and injured the leg of a citizen,” Forouzesh was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency. “Security measures have been taken all over Zahedan and all the forces are on alert,” he added.