Iran attacks: ISIS claims responsibility

Brian Burke

Brian Burke

Twelve people were killed in twin attacks on Iran's parliament complex and the shrine of its revolutionary leader claimed by the Islamic State group on Wednesday, its emergency services chief said. A suicide bomber also detonated an explosive vest at the Khomeini mausoleum.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibiliy for the attack via its online forum.

A security officer is seen outside Iran's parliament building during an ISIS attack.

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"In a prescheduled telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of Iran H.E. Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj condemned today's terrorist attacks on institution of democracy and spirituality in Tehran. We will remain, God willing". Islamic State has regularly threatened Iran, one of the powers leading the fight against the militants' forces in neighboring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria.

Iran's state TV says four attackers were involved in a parliament shooting that is still underway, and that eight people have been wounded.

Sunni extremists, including the IS, despise Shiite-majority Iran. "We will remain, God willing!" one of them says, the Independent of the United Kingdom reported.

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Witnesses reported seeing several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the parliament, while attackers were said to be shooting from the fourth floor of the parliament down at people in the streets below.

Lawmaker Qolam-Ali Jafarzadeh Imenabadi, meanwhile, put the number of attackers at the parliament at four and said they were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles. No-one immediately claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks. The entrance and the exit doors of the Majlis were closed, the report said. Senior MP Elyas Hazrat told Fars news agency that three assailants carrying two kalashnikovs and a handgun had entered the Parliament. Separatist groups and Sunni extremist movements have carried out bombings in the border region near Pakistan in the past, including a suicide attack on a mosque in 2010 that killed 39.

One of the terrorist was gunned down by the security forces and another attacker, reportedly a woman, blew herself up outside the Imam Khomeini shrine.

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