Three Iranian police members were wounded on Tuesday after a bomb they were deployed to defuse detonated at the scene of an earlier explosion, an official told local media.
The incident took place in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, a Sunni majority area that borders Pakistan, and a hotbed of long-standing militant as well as separatist activity in the country.
The first incident was caused by “a handmade explosive device,” prompting the dispatch of a bomb squad who found a second “suspicious package,” Mohamad Ghanbari, the province’s police chief, told semi-official Tasnim agency.
Before the unit could defuse the bomb, it exploded, injuring three police members, added Ghanbari. The wounds were reported to have been superficial, and the men were still being treated as of Tuesday night.
In a social media post following the two explosions, an offshoot of the jihadist Jundulla group (The Soldiers of God), a designated terrorist organization by Iran and the United States, Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibility for the incident stating they had targeted a police station with “two powerful bombs.”
According to Iran, both Jundulla and Jaish al-Adl have targeted and killed members of the army as well as civilians. The groups have mainly operated in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, with Jundulla claiming to fight for the “equal rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran.”