A suicide vehicle bomber claimed by an al-Qaida-linked group attacked a bus carrying members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard paramilitary force Wednesday, killing at least 27 people and wounding 13 others, state media reported.
In September previous year, Isis militants and an Arab group claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on a military parade, also in the country's south, that killed and wounded dozens of people, including members of the Guards.
The IRGC personnel were traveling between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, in Sistan and Baluchestan province on Wednesday, when their bus was targeted in a suicide auto bomb attack.
The province, which lies on a major opium trafficking route, has seen occasional clashes betweem Iranian forces and Baluch separatists, as well as drug traffickers.More news: Ex-US Air Force intelligence officer 'spied for Iran before defecting'
The IRGC is a major economic and military power in Iran, answerable only to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn in an attack by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.
Iran's foreign minister referenced a US-led summit on "peace and security" in the Middle East that kicked off in Warsaw on Wednesday in a tweet on the attack.More news: Breast cancer patients share with MPs on why they need medicine access
"This terrorist act happened a short time ago and according to reports at least 20 have been martyred and 20 have been wounded", an informed source told IRNA.
The group also said it had carried out two bombings that wounded three police officers in Zahedan at the end of January.
A coordinated June 7, 2017 Islamic State group assault on Parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution.
Iran's Shi'ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighboring country to crack down on them.More news: Quinton de Kock leads Proteas recovery against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead
"I believe it's dead on arrival or dead before arrival", he said at a news conference before the bombing.