Islamic State claims responsibility for double Iran attacks

Meanwhile, Iran's Intelligence Ministry said the attacks were carried out by terrorist groups.

By REUTERS
June 7, 2017 12:29
2 minute read.

Attackers raid Iran parliament and mausoleum, up to seven dead (credit: REUTERS)

Attackers raid Iran parliament and mausoleum, up to seven dead (credit: REUTERS)

 
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CAIRO - Islamic State claimed responsibility for attacks on Iran's parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's shrine on Wednesday, the group's state news agency AMAQ said.

"Fighters from Islamic state attacked Khomeini's shrine and the Iranian parliament in Tehran," the news agency said.

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Meanwhile, state TV reported that Iran's Intelligence Ministry said the attacks were carried out by terrorist groups.

"This morning two terrorist groups attacked the parliament and Imam Khomeini's shrine ... Members of a third group were arrested before being able to carry out any attack," the station quoted the ministry as saying.

The claims have not been independently verified.

In another statement the news agency said the attacks on Khomeini's shrine were carried out by two suicide bombers.

The two attacks happened almost simultaneously and killed up to seven people.



Tasmin news agency said there were unconfirmed reports that the attackers had taken four hostages inside the parliament building.

Lawmaker Elias Hazrati told state television three assailants, one with a pistol and two with AK-47 assault rifles, carried out the attack in central Tehran.

Another lawmaker said one of the assailants was surrounded by security forces and all the doors to the building had been closed, ISNA news agency reported. The attackers killed seven people and wounded several others, Tasmin said.

"I was inside the parliament when shooting happened. Everyone was shocked and scared. I saw two men shooting randomly," said one journalist at the scene, who asked not to be named.

Around half an hour later, an attacker opened fire at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini, injuring several members of the public, Iran's English-language Press TV said.

State news agency IRNA quoted an official at the mausoleum as saying the attacker had set off a suicide bomb after shooting at people.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Iranian TV said parliament had resumed, and broadcast footage of what it said was the opening session proceeding normally.

Hours laters, the head of the anti-terrorism department in the Iranian Intelligence Ministry said they have foiled another terrorist plot and have arrested "a terrorist team", state broadcaster IRIB reported.

Iran's intelligence ministry has also asked people to avoid public transport, according to IRIB.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, which shares its western border with Iraq, has recently indicated it has sent regular and volunteer members of its armed forces to support Syrian President Bashar Assad's fight against rebels and Islamic State militants seeking to topple his rule.

Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.

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