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Ahwazi Intifada on Iran Heats Up As Arab Rebels Claim Bomb Attack

Iranian administrative buildings in the heart of Ahwaz City were the target of a major bomb attack by Arab insurgents on Friday, with responsibility claimed by the Kuwait-based separatist Ahwaz Islamic Sunni Organisation (AISO).

The explosion destroyed a number of buildings on Friday morning, reducing them to rubble, although the Iranian regime has claimed the explosion was caused by a gas leak. AISO said it carefully chose the timing of the attack so as to minimise the loss of life. The Iranian authorities say there have been no fatalities and only minor injuries. Eye witnesses claim that the explosion was heard all over the city and shook buildings nearby.

AISO said it had carried out the attack in revenge for the planned executions of Ahwazi Arabs on charges of "enmity with God". It has said it will step up operations in coming months ahead of the Iranian presidential elections in June. The buildings, it claimed, were used by Iranian government agencies involved in forced displacement of Arabs to make way for new settlements

The explosion comes following statements of solidarity by the Free Syrian Army, which has created an Al-Ahwaz battalion. Meanwhile the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Al-Ahwaz (ASMLA) has held top-level talks with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. This week, Iranian hardliners have called on President Ahmadinejad to cancel a meeting with Egypt's President Muhamad Morsi over a major conference in Cairo in support of Ahwazi Arab independence.

ASMLA has published a video of the aftermath of the explosion on YouTube.