IRAN: On October 26, armed men attacked a Shia Muslim holy place in Iran, resulting in at least 15 fatalities and numerous injuries.
Three assailants attacked Shia mausoleum
In Shiraz, the Shah Cheragh mausoleum has reportedly been attacked by three assailants. While the other two attackers were captured, one is still on the loose.
The attackers were referred to by state media as “takfiris,” a term used by the authorities to identify Sunni Muslim extremists who had previously attacked Shiite Iranians. The Islamic State organisation later issued a statement on a news agency claiming credit for the attack, though.
A picture of bodies covered in sheets and spread out in a courtyard was circulated by the media, along with reports that two children and a mother were among the deceased. Broken glass and blood puddles were visible in other images.
An associate professor, Fouad Izadi, at the University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies, claimed that the shooting’s intended purpose was to “attack worshipers.” Izadi stated, “This is an ISIS trademark—they attack mosques, they attack shrines.”
On Wednesday, Shiite pilgrims were killed on the same day Iranian security forces battled with louder protestors to mark the 40th day anniversary since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died while in police custody.
Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, claimed that the Shiraz incident was made possible by the widespread protests in Iran. Ebrahim Raisi, the president, is committed to taking speedy and decisive action.
“This crime will definitely not go unanswered, and the security and law enforcement forces will teach a lesson to those who designed and carried out the attack,” said Raisi.
The mausoleum contains the tombs of two brothers of the eighth Shia Imam Ali al-Rida and sons of the seventh Shia Imam Musa al-Kadhim. A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, Stephane Dujarric, said such assaults on places of religion are “especially heinous.”
At a revered Shia shrine in the northeastern city of Mashhad in April, two Shia clergies were fatally stabbed. In June, the attacker—whom authorities identified as an ethnic Uzbek male from Afghanistan with radical Sunni views—was executed.
IS has already conducted deadly strikes in Iran. The organisation was behind a pair of deadly twin attacks in 2017 that were directed at the parliament building and the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.