Eighteen members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard killed in explosion

41990.jpegIran on Wednesday said 18 members of the powerful Revolutionary Guard were killed in an explosion that struck the force's base in the country's west a day earlier.

The state IRNA news agency said 14 other Guard troops were wounded in Tuesday's blast in the city of Khoramabad, some 300 miles (500 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Tehran. The injured were taken to hospitals in Khoramabad, The Associated Press reports.

Iranian officials told official and semiofficial news organizations that the explosion was an accident caused by a fire at the Imam Ali training base outside the town of Khorramabad that reached a weapons storage facility.

The explosion comes after an attack on a military parade last month in the northwestern Kurdish city of Mahabad that left 12 people dead and an attack on police several days ago in another mostly Kurdish town that killed five people.

Iran's ethnic Kurds, who account for about 10% of the nation's population and are concentrated in its western provinces, have longstanding grievances against Iran's central government that have frequently resulted in violence or waves of guerrilla warfare in recent decades, Los Angeles Times reports.


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