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Monday, February 27, 2006


Tehran, 27 Feb. (AKI) - Iranian authorities on Monday denied reports in Arab news agencies saying that several people had died in explosions in the southern cities of Abadan and Dezful. According to local government authorities, two bombs exploded simultaneously around 10 a.m. local time in the offices of the regional governments of Abadan and Dezful. Two people were reportedly wounded in the attack in Abadan and four in Dezful.

The attacks on the two cities, where the majority of citizens belong to the Arab minority, took place as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad travelled to Kuwait.

Ever since April last year, Iran's southern regions have been at the centre of violent protests and attacks. Iran's Arab minority is concentrated in the area. The situation is also serious in Kurdistan, Baluchistan and Iranian Azerbaijan - all regions with minorities seeking increasing autonomy.

Ahmadinejad's visits to these regions have further sparked tensions.

The bomb in Abadan could also be linked to the closure by the regime of a local magazine last Saturday, after its editor had harshly criticised the government in an interview to an Italian newspaper, Rome daily La Repubblica.

A court issued an order to stop the publication of the magazine Hamsayeha (The Neighbours) after editor in chief Mohammad Hezbaizadeh accused Tehran of progressively transforming Iran's southern regions bordering Iraq into a military stronghold. The journalist also accused Ahmadinejad of increasingly reducing the freedom of the press and of denouncing any form of dissent as cooperation with foreign powers.


Feb-27-06 11:26

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