12 Dead In Iran Parliament, Khomeini Tomb Attacks. ISIS Claims Responsibility
TEHRAN: Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked the Iranian parliament and the sanctuary of its revolutionary leader today, killing 12 people in the first attacks in the country claimed by ISIS. Dozens of people were injured in the attacks, which ended after a clash of several hours, while gunmen were in parliamentary office buildings.
ISIS released a video attackers inside the building through its propaganda agency QAMA – a rare claim of responsibility for an attack was ongoing. Police said all of the attackers had died at 3:00 p.m. (10:30 p.m.), about five hours after the start.
Sunni jihadists believe that Shi’ite ISIS Iran is an apostle, and Tehran is deeply involved in fighting the group in Syria and Iraq.
The attacks began mid-morning, when four gunmen stormed the parliamentary complex in central Tehran, killing one security guard and another, according to the ISNA news agency.
An Interior Ministry official said they were dressed as women and entered through visitors’ entrances.
Almost at the same time, a team of three or four assailants entered the mausoleum compound of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Islamic revolution, killing one gardener and several wounded.
Iran’s emergency services reported that a total of 12 people were killed in both attacks and 39 wounded.
Two of the sanctuary’s attackers, one of them a woman, blew themselves up, while another damaged a suicide vest on the fourth floor of the parliamentary office building.
Parliament has not been condemned
A photo on social networks showed that members of the police team escaped through the windows. Many crowds gathered around the wires to see that the police struggled to disperse the crowd.
Parliament was in session, when the attacks occurred and that members were willing to prove that they had not been convicted, continuing their regular activities.
Some spoke of themselves appearing to be appeased, even if fighting armed guns in the surrounding office blocks and snipers took positions on nearby rooftops. President Ali Larijani dismissed the attacks, saying they were a “trivial matter” and that security forces are involved in them.
An official at Khomeini’s Mausoleum in southern Tehran said that “three or four” entered the west entrance and opened fire, according to the Fars news agency. He has published photographs showing that the suicide bomber detonated outside.
The Ministry of Information said that a third “terrorist” team had been neutralized before the attacks began.
The city was blocked, blocked streets and parts of the metro closed. The journalists were kept away from the sanctuary by the police. Interior Minister Abdolrahman Fazli told ISNA that he had convened a special meeting of the Security Council.
Jihadist groups have frequently clashed with security forces along Iran’s border with Iraq and Afghanistan, but the country has largely escaped attacks in its cities.
The Ministry of Information said in June 2016 that it had thwarted a plot to carry out several attacks in Tehran and across the country.
ISIS has released a rare video in Persian in March, warning that “it will conquer Iran and restore the Sunni nation as it once was.”
Iran, the dominant Shi’ite power, helped Iraq and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria to fight ISIS.
The jihadist group is tightening more and more in the two countries, having lost significant territory against the offensive now aiming their last two major urban bastions in Syria Raqa and Mosul in Iraq.
Militant groups are also known to operate in Sistan-Baluchistan’s southeastern province, which borders Pakistan and has a large Sunni community.
Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran accuses of links with Al Qaeda, carried out several armed attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.