updated 10/20/2009 10:44:33 PM ET 2009-10-21T02:44:33

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" the recent terrorist attack in an Iranian border city that killed top Revolutionary Guard commanders and dozens of others.

A press statement approved by the 15-member council "underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice."

According to reports from Tehran, Sunday's suicide bombing killed at least 42 people — including five senior Revolutionary Guard officers — who were attending a conference of tribal and local leaders in the city of Pisin near Iran's border with Pakistan. Iran's U.N. Mission and the Security Council put the casualty toll higher, saying the attack killed at least 57 people and injured 150 others.

The council statement was a response to a letter from Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazee saying the government expected the council to condemn the attack in the strongest terms and send a message that such acts cannot be tolerated.

Sunni militants
Khazee said "the terrorist group calling itself Jundallah," or Soldiers of God, which is led by Abdolmalik Rigi claimed responsibility for the attack and a series of other bombings, kidnappings and violent acts committed in eastern border cities in recent years.

"There are indications that the group enjoys the support of some foreign countries," he said.

Jundallah claims it is fighting to defend the Sunni Baluchi clans in the southeastern border region against alleged discrimination and abuses by Iran's Shiite majority.

Iran has accused Pakistan, the U.S. and Britain of aiding the Sunni militants. A commentary Monday by the official news agency called on Iranian security forces "to seriously deal with Pakistan once and for all." And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Pakistani counterpart that his nation must hunt down suspected members of Jundallah.

The Security Council statement made no mention of any outside involvement except asking all states "to cooperate actively with Iranian authorities" to bring those responsible for the attack to justice.

The statement, read to reporters by Vietnam's U.N. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, the current council president, reaffirmed the council's determination to combat all forms of terrorism and all threats to international peace caused by terrorist attacks.

It reminded all countries to ensure that the measures they take to combat terrorism comply with international human rights and humanitarian law. It also extended condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Iran.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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