ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Two armed groups on Wednesday attacked the Iranian Parliament and shrine of former Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, killing 12 and injuring 48 others, the Interior Ministry stated.
The first attack took place in the Iranian Parliament where the gunmen controlled the building for several hours and prevented staff and Parliament members from leaving.
The second attack occurred at Khomeini’s Shrine where two suicide bombers detonated themselves, shooting the tomb and people in the area.
Following the violence, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks in an online statement.
The insurgent group also released footage showing militants in the Iranian Parliament building.
It was a rare attack on Iran, one of the countries fighting IS in Iraq and Syria.
The assailants dressed like women and entered the Parliament building in the center of Tehran, Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed Hossein Zolfaghari said.
“One of them was shot dead, and another one detonated his suicide vest,” he said.
One of the journalists, who asked to remain anonymous, revealed the chaotic scenes to an Iranian news agency.
“I was inside the parliament when the shooting happened,” they said. “Everyone was shocked and scared. I saw two men shooting randomly.”
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry stated security troops had arrested another terrorist group who planned the third attack but did not provide further details.
The attacks occurred less than a month after the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani.
Rouhani’s landslide victory defeated candidates supported by the hardline clergy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is responsible for national security.
The Intelligence Ministry asked people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the security forces.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany