Iran has executed three members of a Sunni Muslim armed group who were found guilty of carrying out a bomb attack on the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.

The trio were sentenced to death over the 2019 bombing in the country’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province. The judicial authority website Mizan Online reported on Monday that they were executed by hanging.

According to the judiciary, the men were sentenced to death after being found guilty of bombings at a police station and a patrol vehicle in Zahedan, the provincial capital. In one of the boldest attacks on Iran’s most powerful military institution, a suicide bomber killed 27 Revolutionary Guard members and wounded 13 others.

They were also found guilty of being members of the Sunni group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which was founded in 2012 and is blacklisted in Iran as a “terrorist” organization. The group claimed responsibility for the attack at the time.

Provincial Chief Judge Ali Mostafavinia added that the defendants were also convicted of “military training, passing on and hiding bomb-making materials.”

Jaish al-Adl and its groups based in neighboring Pakistan are accused of carrying out cross-border attacks against Iranian forces.

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president at the time of the attack in 2019, condemned the bombing, saying: “Without a doubt, all perpetrators and those who ordered this evil, flagrant act will soon be punished with the hard work of the country’s powerful security forces “Country.”

Over the years, unrest in the impoverished Sistan-Balochistan province on the border with Pakistan has involved drug smuggling gangs, rebels from the Baloch minority and armed Sunni Muslim groups.

Protocol of executions

According to human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Iran executes more people each year than any other country except China.

Earlier this year, UN human rights chief Volker Turk said Iran had a “disgusting” track record of executions this year, with an average of more than 10 people being hanged each week.

More than 600 people have been executed by Iran so far this year, already the highest number in eight years, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said in a November report. According to the United Nations, Iran carried out 972 death sentences in 2015.

Despite objections from human rights groups, Iran has also imposed death sentences and executed people arrested during anti-government protests last year.

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