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Posted by on Nov 12, 2011 in Breaking News, International, Media, Society | 4 comments

BREAKING: Massive Explosion Reported at Military Base West of Tehran (UPDATES)

Several news sources are reporting a huge blast occurring inside an Iranian military base near the capital, Tehran.

BBC News:

There has been at least one explosion inside a military base west of Iran’s capital, Tehran, officials say.

Windows in buildings in the nearby village of Bidganeh have been shattered.

Some deaths have been reported, according to the semi-official Fars news agency, but this has not been confirmed.

The blast was reportedly heard in central Tehran about 40 km (25 miles) away.

Fars said the blast occurred at a Revolutionary Guards base. There are also reports it was in an ammunition depot.

Foxnews:

TEHRAN – A massive explosion occurred at an Iranian military base in western Tehran on Saturday, Press TV reported.

There was no immediate confirmation on any casualties caused by the blast.

The force of the explosion shattered the windows of homes in the western suburbs of the Iranian capital, AFP reported.

Alireza Jane, an Iranian official responsible for security issues in Tehran’s governor’s office, told the ISNA news agency that the blast hit “a military base.”

Ahram Online:

Iranian state TV reported blast in military barracks west of Tehran, according to Reuters news agency.

A huge explosion hit a military base in the west of the Iranian capital on Saturday, media quoted officials as saying, without giving any immediate word on any casualties.

The explosion, which was originally reported as in a gas distribution station, hit “a military base” west of Tehran, Alireza Jane, responsible for security issues in the Tehran’s governor office, told the ISNA news agency.

The blast shattered the windows of residential neighbourhoods in the western suburbs of Tehran, witnesses told AFP. It was heard in the city centre.

UPDATE:

Reuters:

A massive explosion at a weapons depot on a military base to the west of the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday killed several people and was felt at least 45 km away, local media reported.

The semi-official Fars news agency carried a statement by the Revolutionary Guards which said the blast happened in an arsenal at a base in Bidganeh, near the city of Karaj.

Some people were killed, Fars said, without giving further details.

More from the BBC:

Several people were killed after the blast inside a Revolutionary Guards weapons depot, according to the semi-official Fars news agency, but this has not been confirmed.

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A helicopter and ambulances have reportedly been sent to the scene.

Local MP Hossein Garousi said “a large part of an ammunition depot exploded,” parliament’s website reported.

It is not clear what caused the explosion in the village of Bidganeh, near the city of Karaj.

Karaj resident Kaveer told the BBC’s Newshour programme that the sound was “deafening”.

“We were kind of shocked. I just ran out of the house and looked around,” he said.

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An elite military force, the Revolutionary Guard was set up shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution to defend the country’s Islamic system.

It has since become a major military, political and economic force in Iran.

The Revolutionary Guard has been targeted by UN sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment.

There have been occasional unexplained explosions in Iran before.

Eighteen people were killed in a blast at a Revolutionary Guards base in the north-western Lorestan province in October 2010.

The latest blast comes at a time of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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There has also been speculation in Israel’s media that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering ordering strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites, in the hope of stalling or ending its programme.

Additional Update from the BBC:

Fifteen soldiers have been killed in a huge explosion at a military base near Iran’s capital Tehran, officials say.

The blast occurred when weapons were being moved inside a Revolutionary Guards depot, a commander from the elite unit told state TV.

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Two hours after the explosion a fire still raged and there were traffic jams on nearby roads, a local reporter said.

Local MP Hossein Garousi said “a large part of an ammunition depot exploded,” parliament’s website reported.

Revolutionary Guards commander Ramezan Sharif did not say what had caused the “accident” in the village of Bidganeh, near the city of Karaj.

“Some of the casualties are reported to be in a critical condition,” he said.

An emergency worker said that 12 people had been taken to hospital.

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