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Iranian police arrest 40 people after twin bombings

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian police arrested 40 people following the devastating bombings of a mosque in the country's southeast as funerals were under way for the victims, local media reported yesterday.

Gen. Ahmad Reza Radan, Iran's deputy police chief, told the semiofficial Fars news agency that those detained "intended to create insecurity in Zahedan after the bombing," but all was calm in the city.

A Sunni insurgency called Jundallah, which has carried out several other bombings in the southeast in the past few years, claimed responsibility for the twin blasts, which killed 27 Thursday night.

Radan said two policemen were among the dead. Ten people were wounded. Members of the elite Revolutionary Guards were also reportedly killed.

Thousands turned out yesterday for the mass funerals, marching through the streets and chanting "death to terrorists" and "down with the U.S.," according to footage on state TV. Iran has accused the United States and Britain of supporting Jundallah in an effort to weaken the Iranian government, a charge they deny. On Friday President Barack Obama condemned the bombing. - AP

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