Iran Parliament, Khomeini’s Mausoleum Attacked; ISIS Claims Responsibility

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Gunmen dressed as women stormed Iran’s Parliament building on Wednesday while a suicide bomber targeted a shrine to the Islamic republic’s founder in deadly twin attacks that were claimed by ISIS.Image result for Iran Parliament, Khomeini’s Mausoleum Attacked; ISIS Claims ResponsibilityAt least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded, state broadcaster IRIB quoted the head of Iran’s emergency department as saying.

The near-simultaneous attacks were the first terrorist incidents in Tehran in more than a decade.

ISIS claimed responsibility through its Amaq news agency and issued a video it said was taken from the scene — although the veracity of the footage could not be independently confirmed by NBC News.

Gunmen Reportedly Attack Iran’s Parliament, Bomb Ayatollah Khomeini’s Shrine 1:00

 

Four assailants wearing women’s clothing — including some armed with AK-47s — burst through the Parliament’s main entrance in central Tehran, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

About five hours after the first reports, Iranian news agencies said four attackers were dead and the incident was over.Image: Members of Iranian forces take position during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran

Armed men, described by the TIMA agency as security forces, take position during the Iran Parliament attack. TIMA AGENCY / Reuters

 

Amir Yagani, a 34-year old civil engineer, said he was across the street from the building when the attack happened.

“I heard shooting guns and then some of the people were escaping,” he told NBC News by phone.

Armed men appeared at the building’s windows but it was not immediately clear if they were security forces, as described by FARS, or attackers.

An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the site.

Witnesses said attackers fired shots from the fourth floor of the building down at people in the streets below.

“I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets,” witness Ebrahim Ghanimi told The Associated Press.

In a separate incident, Iran’s state TV reported that a suicide attack occurred at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran.

It said one of the attackers was killed by security guards and that a woman was arrested.

Tasnim said four pilgrims visiting the mausoleum were injured and a worker at the shrine was killed.

Iran’s English-language Press TV said the attack occurred about 30 minutes after the Parliament shooting.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic revolution in 1979. He died a decade later.

Image: Khomeini mausoleum
Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in located in southern Tehran. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA, file

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said security forces had arrested another “terrorist team” planning a third attack, Reuters reported, without giving further details.

Attacks are rare in Tehran and other Iranian cities.

However, a Sunni militant group named Jundallah and offshoot Ansar al Furqan have been waging a deadly insurgency for almost a decade. Most of their attacks have been in remote areas.

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