TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran held solemn funerals for 17 Revolutionary Guards killed in a munitions blast on Monday, including a key figure in its ballistic missiles programme, as a US magazine pointed a finger at Israel. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attended one ceremony held in Tehran, in honour of Major General Hassan Moqaddam and seven other Guards members, according to footage aired by state television. Moqaddam, responsible for industrial research to ensure the Guards' self-sufficiency in armaments, specialised in artillery during the 1980s Iraq-Iran war before founding the force's ballistic programme, according to information provided by officials in Tehran. The 17 Revolutionary Guards were killed on Saturday in an explosion described as accidental by Iran that rocked a military base in Bid Ganeh, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) west of Tehran. The blast occurred as "ammunition was taken out of the depot and was being moved outside toward the appropriate site," Guards spokesman Ramezan Sharif said, without mentioning why Moqaddam was present at the site. But Moqaddam's deputy said he "was busy with his scientific research work until his dying moments."