Islamic State attack kills at least 15 worshipers as protests engulf Iran

At least 15 people were killed and more than three dozen injured when an Islamic State terrorist attacked a Shia Muslim shrine in Iran on Wednesday.

The massacre has heightened tensions as anti-government protests have rocked the nation following the death of a Kurdish woman at the hands of Iranian morality police.

ISIS later took credit for the massacre of religious pilgrims at the shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz, a Muslim site dating back to the 12th century.

An attacker shot a worker at the entrance to the shrine before his gun jammed and he was chased by worshippers, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The floors of Shah Cheragh Mausoleum were stained with blood after the attack.

The terrorist then repaired his Kalashnikov rifle as he fled the crowd and began to open fire on them in a courtyard, according to the report.

The assailant, apparently a lone wolf, was injured and taken into custody by security officers. Earlier reports said police were looking for two additional suspects.

Women and two children were among the dead, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency. The suspect had opened fire in the women’s section of the shrine during a call for prayers, a witness told state news agency Press TV.

« I heard gunshots after praying, » one victim said. “We went to a room next to the shrine, this thug came and fired a barrage of shots. So [the bullet] hit my arm and leg, he hit my wife’s back, but thank God my child was not hit, he is 7 years old.

President Ebrahim Raisi told state media that Iran would respond to the terror attack.

“Experience shows that the enemies of Iran, after failing to create a split in the united ranks of the nation, take revenge through violence and terror,” Raisi said, before ISIS took over. the responsibility.

« This crime will certainly not go unaddressed, and law enforcement and security forces will teach those who engineered and executed the attack a lesson. »

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi blamed widespread protests marking the 40th anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody as setting the stage for the massacre.

At least 234 protesters, including 29 children, have been killed by security forces since Amini’s death, according to Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based group.

The bloody nationwide clashes between protesters and police marked one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical leadership since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Demonstrators from all walks of life flooded the streets to call for the fall of the Republic and the death of the Ayatollah, intensifying the security crackdown.

Protesters marched to Mahsa Amini’s grave on Wednesday, 40 days after she was killed while in police custody accused of wearing her hijab improperly.

The terror attack in Shiraz took place on the same day that riot police opened fire on some 10,000 mourners watching over Amini’s grave in his Kurdish hometown of Saqez, according to the news agency. ISNA semi-official press.

Internet service was cut after the clashes, which led to « dozens » of arrests, according to a witness.

Meanwhile, crowds thronged the streets of Tehran and other cities as protesters shouted « Death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei,” the video posted to social media appeared to show.

A clip on social media shows members of the Basij militia firing on protesters in the capital while other unauthenticated footage shows protesters throwing rocks at security guards and setting fire to a police vehicle.

« We will fight, we will die, we will get Iran back, » protesters chanted in videos posted online.

Religious leaders had blamed the United States and other Western countries for instigating the « riots », and said around 30 security officials had been killed.

With post wires


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