At least 15 killed as gunmen attack major holy site in Iran

Photo: Tasnim news agency.

At least 15 people were killed and over 40 more were wounded in a gunmen attack on a shrine in the southwest province of Fars in Iran on Wednesday evening.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency said two gunmen were arrested and a third is on the run after the attack on the Shah Cheragh mosque, the second holiest site in Iran.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency. It said an armed militant of the group stormed the shrine and opened fire on its visitors. It claimed that some 20 people were killed and dozens more were wounded.

Such attacks are rare in Iran, but last April, an assailant stabbed two clerics to death at the Imam Reza shrine, the country’s most revered Shiite site, in the northeast city of Mashhad.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that whoever led and planned the attack would “receive a regretful and decisive response,” without elaborating. The state-run news agency, IRNA, quoted Raisi as saying that “this evil will definitely not go unanswered.”

The attack comes as thousands of protesters marked 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini in custody, a tragedy that sparked the protests.

Tasnim news agency reported that three days of national mourning were declared in Fars province following the attack.