Gunmen attack Iran’s parliament, Khomeini shrine
Several killed in attacks on parliament and Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, as ISIL claims responsibility.
Gunmen and suicide bombers have attacked Iran’s parliament in central Tehran and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in south of the city, killing several people.
Four armed assailants attacked parliament office buildings on Wednesday morning, while the shrine of revolutionary founder Ruhollah Khomeini was struck by a female suicide bomber, state media reported.
One of the attackers on Iran’s parliament complex blew himself up on the fourth floor amid an ongoing siege, state broadcaster IRIB reported.
|Smoke was seen after an explosion rocked the parliament’s building in central Tehran [Reuters]|
Lawmaker Elias Hazrati told state television that three attackers, one with a pistol and two with AK-47 assault rifles, raided office buildings at the parliament complex.
— Global News (@GlobalZarfati) June 7, 2017
ISNA news agency quoted a member of the parliament as saying that all the parliament doors were shut and access to the complex was sealed by police.
“There is panic going through the streets of the capital right now because of the attacks. There is chaos inside the parliament,” Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons said.
“It is very likely that these attacks were coordinated. It’s hardly a coincidence that it happened within minutes of each other.”
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attacks via its online forum.
“Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIL) attacked the Khomeini mausoleum and the parliament building in Tehran,” the Amaq agency said, citing a “security source”.
It marks the first major attack of the group inside Iran.
The attack on the shrine of Khomeini is symbolically stunning. As Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies