At least 12 dead after twin terror attacks strike Iran's capital

By Doug G. Ware and Andrew V. Pestano  |  Updated June 7, 2017 at 1:51 PM
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June 7 (UPI) -- At least a dozen people died and more than 40 were injured Wednesday in attacks claimed by the Islamic State against Iran's Parliament and Tehran's tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iranian officials said.

The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported the two seemingly coordinated attacks on Wednesday were carried out by two groups of gunmen who opened fire on people at Imam Khomeini's mausoleum in southern Tehran and the Iranian Parliament, or Majlis.

The gunmen wielded AK-47 rifles and hand grenades, and appeared to be outfitted with suicide vests, witnesses said.

A third attack was foiled, Iran's intelligence ministry said.

"The first terrorist team, comprising of two persons, entered the premises of the Imam Khomeini shrine at 10:30 a.m. One of them exploded himself and the other one was killed in clashes with security forces," a statement by the interior ministry said.

Ali Larijani, the Iranian Parliament's speaker, told the IRNA that "some coward terrorists infiltrated a building in Majlis, but they were seriously confronted."

"This is a minor issue but reveals that the terrorists pursue troublemaking," Larijani added "Iran is particularly the active and effective hub of fighting against terrorism and they want to damage this trend."

Iranian security forces responded to the attacks. In Khomeini's mausoleum, where one service worker was killed and four people were injured, one gunman was shot dead and a female suicide bomber detonated herself outside the tomb, Zolfaqari said.

Zolfaqari said the attackers entered the Iranian Parliament while dressed as women. Iranian Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Hashemi said the death toll is likely to increase.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan's former foreign minister and a senior member of Parliament, condemned the attacks.

"I would like to condemn the attack that took place on Iranian Parliament today and on the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini. I believe the attack is condemnable and completely unjustified and I condemn all forms of terrorism," the Pakistani official said.

If the Islamic State was behind the attacks, it would mark the first time that the Sunni Muslim group attacked inside Iran, a largely Shiite Muslim country. It's believed to be Iran's worst terror attack in decades.

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