Gunmen attack Iran's parliament, Khomeini shrine

At least 13 dead 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 at least 13 people. 

    Four armed assailants attacked parliament office buildings on Wednesday morning, while the shrine of revolutionary founder Ruhollah Khomeini was struck by a suicide bomber, state media reported.

    One of the attackers on Iran's parliament complex blew himself up on the fourth floor, while under siege by security forces, 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.  

    At least 43 people were wounded in the attacks, according to the interior ministry.

    ISNA news agency quoted a member of the parliament as saying that all the parliament doors were shut and access to the parliament complex was sealed by police.

    Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency said the siege at parliament was over and that four attackers have been killed.

    "There was panic going through the streets of the capital because of the attacks. It was 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."

    ISIL claim

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attacks via its online forum. If genuine, the claim marks the first major attack of the group inside Iran.

    "Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIL) attacked the Khomeini mausoleum and the parliament building in Tehran," the Amaq agency said, citing a "security source".

    ISIL later posted a video, showing what it claimed was footage from inside the parliament building. The video showed a bloody, lifeless body of a man lying on the ground next to a desk.

    A voice on the video praised God and said in Arabic: "Do you think we will leave? We will remain, God willing." Another voice repeats the same words.

    The two appeared to be parroting a slogan used by ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year.

    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


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