Deadly blast hits Iran arms depot


A massive explosion at a military arms depot near the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday killed 17 Revolutionary Guards and wounded 15, a spokesman for the elite fighting force told the semi-official Fars news agency.

Officials said the blast was an accident which happened as troops were moving munitions at a base in Bidganeh, near the town of Shahriar, some 45 kilometres west of Tehran.

The explosion shook homes and rattled windows for kilometres around, at a time of mounting tension with Israel over Iran's nuclear programme.

Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif initially said 27 people had been killed but later revised that figure down to 17.

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