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Ammunition explosion at Iranian Guards base kills 18

By Thomas Erdbrink
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, October 13, 2010; 4:07 AM

TEHRAN -- An explosion in an ammunition depot at a Revolutionary Guard Corps base killed 18 people and injured 14, a commander of the elite force said Wednesday.

Yadollah Buali, a deputy commander, told the semiofficial Fars News Agency that ammunition exploded after a base storage facility caught fire Tuesday.

"This is almost the final death toll," Buali said.

It was unclear whether the incident, which took place near the western city of Khorramabad, was an accident or the result of terrorism or sabotage.

Firefighters and rescue teams were dispatched to the scene and the injured were rushed to the hospital, Fars reported. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the base was used as a training center.

Last month, a bombing killed 12 people and injured 80 in the ethnic Kurdish city of Mahabad during a parade by members of the army and the Guard Corps. Authorities blamed "anti-revolutionary" militants backed by foreign enemies and said they killed 30 rebels responsible for the attack.

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