Iran: 12 dead as ISIS claims attacks on parliament and shrine

wilayattimes (Iran)

Tehran:At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more injured in Tehran after gunmen and suicide bombers attacked the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic and All 4 Assailants Killed

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on the highly symbolic sites, publishing a brief video that purported to show the assailants inside the parliament. If an Isis role is confirmed, this would be the first attack conducted by the terror group inside Iran.

The parliament assault began when four gunmen armed with rifles burst into the building complex. One of the attackers reportedly blew himself up inside as police surrounded the building.

Gunfire could be heard from outside as police helicopters circled overhead, entrance and exit gates were closed, and mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected.

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

MPs continued scheduled sessions in another part of the complex. The deputy interior minister, Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari, told Iran’s state TV that the attackers were dressed as women in order to gain entry.

About five hours after the first reports, Iranian news agencies said all four assailants were dead and the incident was over, after unconfirmed reports of a hostage situation.

Ali Larijani, Iranian parliament speaker, called the attack a cowardly act. “Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists and they want to damage it,” he said.

Soon after the assault on the parliament began, reports emerged of another incident about 12 miles (19km) south at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who established the Islamic Republic after deposing the Shah in 1979.

Two assailants entered the grounds of the shrine, killing a gardener and wounding several other people. One detonated a suicide vest, while the other was shot dead. It was not clear whether the shrine attackers were women, as had been reported earlier, or were just wearing female clothing.

 A Jamaran News image said to be of the moment an attacker detonated a suicide belt at the Khomeini shrine. Photograph: Twitter

Iran’s emergency services said a total of 12 people were killed in the two attacks and 43 wounded. It was not clear whether that toll included the attackers.

The Iranian intelligence ministry said a third team had been arrested before carrying out a planned attack.