Iran's Ahmadinejad 'survives convoy attack' - UPDATED

Ahmadinejad survived an attack with an explosive device on his motorcade during a visit to the western city of Hamadan on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

Iran's Ahmadinejad 'survives convoy attack' - UPDATED

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unharmed by an attack with a homemade explosive device on his motorcade during a visit to the western city of Hamadan on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

The source said Ahmadinejad's convoy was targeted as he was travelling from Hamadan's airport to give a speech in a local sports arena. The president was unhurt but others had been injured in the blast. One person was arrested.

"There was an attack this morning. Nothing happened to the president's car," the source told Reuters. "Investigations continue ... to find out who was behind it."

Ahmadinejad appeared on live Iranian television at the sports stadium. He looked unperturbed and made no mention of any assault.

Al Arabiya television said an attacker had thrown a bomb at Ahmadinejad's convoy before being detained. Dubai-based Al Arabiya cited its own sources as saying the bomb had hit a car carrying journalists and presidential staff.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"Denial"

The main Iranian state television channel remained silent about the explosion, while the English-language state news channel Press TV denied there had been any attack.

The semi-official Fars news agency, after initially reporting a man had thrown a home-made grenade, later changed its story to say a firecracker had been set off by a man who was excited to see the president.

The banned Mujahideen Khalq, listed by the United States as a terrorist group, carried out many anti-government attacks after the 1979 Islamic revolution. It was blamed for two 1981 bombings that killed dozens of senior officials in Tehran, including the president and prime minister.

But Shahin Gobadi, French-based spokesman for the Mujahideen, now part of an opposition coalition known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran, denied involvement.

Asked if his group was behind the attack, he said: "Absolutely not, absolutely not. It has nothing to do with us. I don't know what happened but it has nothing to do with us."

On Monday, during a speech to a conference of expatriate Iranians in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said he believed he was the target of an assassination plot by Israel. "The stupid Zionists have hired mercenaries to assassinate me," he said.


Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Ağustos 2010, 16:01
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