At least 8 people were killed and 19 others were wounded today, Sunday, in two separate explosions in Iran, in the latest two incidents in a series of fires and explosions, some of which occurred in sensitive sites.

The local "Iran International" website (privately) said that the "deadliest" explosion occurred near a market in the city of Ahvaz (southwest of Iran), resulting in 6 dead and 9 wounded.

"The explosion occurred inside a house," Mojtaba Khaldi, spokesman for the Iranian emergency service, said, noting that the cause of the gas leak is still unclear, while an official in the Fire Department confirmed that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

The semi-official "Mehr News Agency" quoted Ibrahim Kanbari, head of the fire fighting unit in Ahvaz, as saying, "The gas explosion completely destroyed a two-story residential building, 4 nearby residential buildings and 6 shops."

Official television footage from the site of the explosion in the city of Ahvaz - the capital of the oil-rich Khuzestan region - showed rescue teams searching for survivors in the rubble of the two-storey residential building, which is located near an ancient market in the old quarter of the city.

On the other hand, two workers were killed and 10 others injured in an explosion that occurred in a metal foundry near the capital, Tehran.

Since the end of last June, Iran has witnessed a series of mysterious accidents and fires, all of which have raised doubts about deliberate sabotage efforts.

Some of the explosions that occurred in Iran in the past few months seemed to be related to the deterioration of the infrastructure, while others seemed to be related to security reasons, as they occurred in sensitive military and nuclear sites, as well as industrial centers and power stations.