About 20 people were killed, including senior military officers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, in an attack early Sunday in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, Fars news agency reported.
The attack, deadliest in Iran in recent years, occurred in the city of Pisheen, located near the border with Pakistan, Fars said.
The strike took place when officers from the Guards were preparing to stage a meeting between local leaders of Shiite and Sunni communities.
|File picture shows Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards marching during a military parade in Tehran|
Some local tribal heads and several senior officers of the Guards were among the slain, the newsagency said.
"In this terrorist act, General Nur-Ali Shushtari, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards ground forces, General Mohammad-Zadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards in Sistan-Baluchestan province, the Guards' commander for the town of Iranshahr and the commander of the Amir al-Momenin unit died," the news agency reported.
Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani confirmed the officers' death in an announcement to parliament which was broadcast on television.
Iran has previously accused shadowy Sunni group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) of launching regular attacks in the province, which borders both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sistan-Baluchestan is home to a sizeable Baluch minority which adheres to Sunni Islam. Jundallah is strongly opposed to the government of predominantly Shiite Iran.