IS claims deadly attack on Shiite shrine in Iran
The attack was carried out against Shahcheragh Shrine, the most revered place of worship in southern Iran.
At least 15 people were killed in the southern city of Shiraz on Wednesday during of an attack in the main Shiite Muslim shrine in southern Iran claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
In a statement, President Ebrahim Raisi blamed Iran's enemies for seeking to divide the nation's united ranks […] through violence and terror. He promised a severe response from the security forces.
The attack, among the deadliest in Iran in recent years, was carried out during evening prayers in the mausoleum of Shahcheragh, local governor Mohammad-Hadi Imanieh told state television.
According to him, the attacker shot indiscriminately at worshipers in the most important shrine in southern Iran, which houses the tomb of Ahmad, brother of one of the most revered figures of Shiism, Imam Reza, who died in 818.
Only one terrorist was involved in this attack, said the head of the local Judicial Authority, Kazem Moussavi , which reported at least 15 dead and 19 injured.
The author, affiliated with takfiri groups, was arrested, the television added in reference to Sunni jihadist or radical Islamist groups.
The television specified that the security forces injured the assailant, who is currently undergoing surgery in hospital.
According to the IS propaganda outlet, a member of the Sunni jihadist group opened fire on worshipers at the Shahcheragh shrine, killing at least 20 Shiites and injuring dozens more.
A witness told Iran's official IRNA agency that he heard screams of women at the time of the call for evening prayers, adding that the attacker entered and shot at the shrine. /p>
Images released by state media show a bloodbath and several dead bodies covered in sheets.
The IRNA agency released not only the images of a little boy on a stretcher but also the blurry photo of a woman who was lying on the ground holding a small child near a leaning man to a wall with visible blood marks.
The attack came as Iran has for nearly six weeks been hit by a wave of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16. The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died three days after her arrest by the vice squad in Tehran. The country had not seen a protest of this magnitude for three years.
This is the second deadly attack perpetrated in 2022 against a Shiite place of worship in Iran, a country of 83 million people, where Shiism has been the state religion since the 16th century.
In early April, a Shia national 21-year-old of Uzbek origin stabbed two Shia clerics to death and injured a third in the courtyard of the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran's second city.
Accused of moharebeh (to be an enemy of God in Persian), the assailant was hanged in June in the same city, according to the Judicial Authority.
The Shiraz attack is the deadliest in Iran since February 2019, when 27 members of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, died in an attack claimed by a Sunni extremist group in the southeast of the country.
In 2018, an attack claimed the lives of 24 people in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan. It was claimed by ISIS, but Tehran blamed the Popular and Democratic Front of Arabs of Ahvaz (FPDAA), a separatist group which denied any involvement.
ISIS claimed responsibility for its first attack in Iran on June 7, 2017. Gunmen and suicide bombers then attacked Tehran's Parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini , killing 17.