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Photos: Thousands Attend Funerals for Iran Bombing Victims

Report by VOA; photos by Saeed Saberi, ISNA

During a funeral ceremony, people mourn next to flag-draped coffins of victims of two bomb blasts in the city of Zahedan, 940 miles (1570 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran, 17 Jul 2010

Tens of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims have turned out in southeastern Iran for funerals of those killed in two bombings in the city of Zahedan. 

The explosions outside a mosque late Thursday apparently were aimed at worshippers celebrating the life of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad who was one of the founders of Shi'ite Islam 1,400 years ago. 

The suicide bombings killed at least 27 people and wounded 270 others.  A Sunni Muslim group, Jundallah, has claimed responsibility for the attack, and police say they have been rounding up people suspected of trying to stir up unrest in the bombings' aftermath. 

Iran's Fars news agency quotes a deputy police chief in Zahedan Ahmad Reza Radan as saying Saturday that 40 people have been detained. 

Some Iranian officials linked the United States to the attacks in Zahedan, and officials in Tehran have accused the U.S. of supporting Jundallah's anti-government campaign. 

U.S. authorities have denied the allegations.

Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attacks Friday, and they called for those responsible to be held accountable.  

Jundallah, which means "soldiers of God", said it carried out the bombings to answer the Iranian government's execution last month of the militants' leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.  The group said it would continue its activities.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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