At least 15 people were killed and 40 others injured in a “terrorist attack” at the Shahcheragh shrine in the southern city of Shiraz on Wednesday. Iranaccording to official media and Iranian officials.
Two children were among the victims, according to the public channel Press TV.
Iranian security forces have arrested two of the suspected attackers and a manhunt is underway to capture a third, state news said.
Terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, issuing a statement through its affiliate news agency Amaq that one of its members had ‘targeted groups of Sunni infidels inside the shrine. with his machine gun, causing the death of dozens of them. ”
The Nour News Agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s main security body, said the suspects were foreign nationals.
Wednesday evening is one of the busiest times for the shrine, IRNA reported, and eyewitnesses said an attacker was in a car before targeting worshipers at its entrance.
The governor of Fars province said that “the terrorist first targeted the servant and the guardian of the shrine, and intended to attack the evening prayers of the congregation, but one of the servants closed the door,” state information quoted the governor as saying.
“Loud cries were heard in the women’s section of the shrine at the time of the adhan [the call for prayer] and suddenly a gunman was spotted with a Kalashnikov firing indiscriminately into the shrine compound,” an eyewitness told state media.
“After the first burst of fire, the aggressor approached the shrine and fired numerous bullets at the people present at the scene,” added the witness.
The attack took place on the same day as clashes broke out across Iran as thousands flocked to the burial site of Mahsa Amini in Saqqez, a city in Kurdistan province, to mark 40 days since her death, the semi news agency said. -Iranian state official ISNA. It is unclear whether the attack was linked to the protests.
Protests have swept across the Islamic Republic following the death of the 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish girl, who died on September 16 after being arrested by ‘morals police’ and taken to a ‘re-education centre’, allegedly not to having adhered to the country’s conservative dress code.