Senior officer killed in blast

A senior Revolutionary Guard commander was one of at least 17 soldiers killed on Saturday in a huge explosion at an Iranian ammunition depot near Tehran.

The explosion happened as munitions were being moved within the base outside Bidganeh village, which is 25 miles from the capital, according to Iranian officials.

State-run television said 16 other soldiers were injured and taken to hospital, with at least one of them believed to be in a critical condition. Among those killed was Hasan Moghaddam, a senior Guard commander.

While the explosion occurred during a time of heightened tension with Israel, the US and other western powers, Iranian politician Parviz Soroori ruled out sabotage. It is believed to be an accident.

"No sabotage was involved in this incident. It has nothing to do with politics," Mr Soroori said. AP

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