World

Iran hangs 3 over mosque bombing

Three men convicted of involvement in the deadly bombing of an Iranian mosque were hanged on Saturday, Iran's official news agency reported. The blast killed 25 people in Zahedan on Thursday.

Three men convicted of involvement in the deadly bombing of an Iranian mosque were hanged on Saturday, Iran's official news agency reported.

The blast in Zahedan, 1,570 kilometres southeast of the capital, Tehran, killed 25 people on Thursday.

The men found guilty of supplying explosives used in the attack were executed in public near the mosque.

A Sunni Muslim militant group, Jundallah, claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.

The group represents the Baluchi ethnic minority that has been fighting a low-level insurgency in southeastern Iran for years, complaining of persecution by the overwhelmingly Persian central government.

However, an Iranian official on Friday accused the United States of involvement in the attack, which took place two weeks before Iran is scheduled to hold its presidential election.

Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said in a statement posted on the internet Friday that "those who committed the Thursday bombing are neither Shia nor Sunni. They are Americans and Israelis." He cited no evidence to support the accusations.

Iran often blames Western powers for violence inside the country. Washington denied the latest charges.

"We condemn this terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms and extend our sympathy to the families of those injured and killed," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters in Washington.

"We do not sponsor any form of terrorism in Iran and we continue to work with the international community to prevent any attacks against any innocent civilians anywhere," he said.

With files from the Associated Press