WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday designated the shadowy Sunni rebel group Jundallah blamed for a series of attacks in Iran as a terrorist organization.
“Since its inception in 2003, Jundallah has engaged in numerous attacks resulting in the death and maiming of scores of Iranian civilians and government officials, primarily in Iran?s Sistan-Baluchestan province,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“Jundallah uses a variety of terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings, ambushes, kidnappings and targeted assassinations,” it added.
Jundallah (Soldiers of God) says it is fighting for the interests of the southeastern province’s large ethnic Baluch community, who unlike most Iranians, mainly follow the Sunni branch of Islam.
In July it claimed responsibility for attacking the Grand Mosque in the provincial capital Zahedan, reportedly targeting members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, killing 28 people.
The Baluch straddle the border with neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan and Jundallah militants have taken advantage of the unrest in the region to find safe haven in the border region.