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Bomb Strapped to Terrorist Kills 6 in Iran

March 15, 1985|From Associated Press

A homemade bomb strapped to the waist of a terrorist exploded among a crowd of worshipers today as Iranian President Ali Khamenei addressed a weekly prayer gathering at Tehran University, killing the bomber and five other people, Iran's news agency said.

Ten others were injured, but Khamenei was not hurt and continued his sermon, the official Islamic Republic News Agency said.

After the prayer service, Tehran radio broadcast the sound of air raid sirens, urged residents to seek refuge from attacking planes and issued a red alert that lasted for 30 minutes. IRNA said the capital's anti-aircraft batteries opened fire.

There was no immediate word on whether Iraqi planes had attacked Tehran, but the two nations, at war for 4 1/2 years, have been attacking civilian targets deep inside the other's territory for 11 days.

3-Minute Interruption

Khamenei's sermon was interrupted for three minutes by the explosion, IRNA said.

Thousands of worshipers on the campus and on nearby streets began chanting "Allah Akbar" ("God is great"), the news agency said.

When he resumed his speech, Khamenei told the congregation that the explosion had not caused any casualties or damage, and that it "was probably sabotage by the Munafiqueen," the news agency said.

It did not explain the contradiction between Khamenei's statement and its report of casualties. The government uses the word Munafiqueen (hypocrites) to describe the anti-government group calling itself Moujahedeen.

Khamenei survived a similar attempt on his life in the early days of the Iranian revolution, when a booby-trapped tape recorder exploded in front of him. His right arm was permanently injured.

Western reporters are not allowed in the battle zone and it is not possible to confirm the reports in either Iran's or Iraq's military communiques, which often carry contradictory versions of their daily battles.

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