Gunmen attack major Shiite holy site in Iran, killing 15


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

Gunmen attacked a major Shiite holy site in Iran on Wednesday, killing at the least 15 folks and wounding dozens. The attack got here as protesters elsewhere in Iran marked a symbolic 40 days since a lady’s loss of life in custody ignited the largest anti-government motion in over a decade.

State TV blamed the attack on “takfiris,” a time period that refers to Sunni Muslim extremists who’ve focused the nation’s Shiite majority in the previous. The attack seemed to be unrelated to the demonstrations.

The official web site of the judiciary mentioned two gunmen had been arrested and a 3rd is on the run after the attack on the Shah Cheragh mosque, the second holiest site in Iran. The state-run IRNA information company reported the loss of life toll and state TV mentioned 40 folks had been wounded.

An Iranian information web site thought-about to be near the Supreme National Security Council reported that the attackers had been overseas nationals, with out elaborating.

Such assaults are uncommon in Iran, however final April, an assailant stabbed two clerics to loss of life on the Imam Reza shrine, the nation’s most revered Shiite site, in the northeast metropolis of Mashhad.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi mentioned that whoever led and deliberate the attack will “obtain a regretful and decisive response,” with out elaborating.

IRNA quoted Raisi as saying, “This evil will certainly not go unanswered.”

Earlier on Wednesday, 1000’s of protesters had poured into the streets of a northwestern metropolis to mark the watershed 40 days because the loss of life in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose tragedy sparked the protests.

Deaths are commemorated in Shiite Islam — as in many different traditions — once more 40 days later, usually with an outpouring of grief. In Amini’s Kurdish hometown of Saqez, the birthplace of the nationwide unrest now roiling Iran, crowds snaked via the native cemetery and thronged her grave.

“Death to the dictator!” protesters cried, in response to video footage that corresponds with recognized options of town and Aichi Cemetery. Women ripped off their headscarves, or hijabs, and waved them above their heads. Other movies confirmed a large procession making its manner alongside a freeway and thru a dusty subject towards Amini’s grave. There had been studies of street closures in the world.

State-linked media reported 10,000 protesters in the procession to her grave.

Hengaw, a Kurdish human rights group, mentioned safety forces fired tear fuel to disperse demonstrators. The semiofficial ISNA information company mentioned safety forces fired pellets at crowds of demonstrators on the outskirts of Saqez and pushed again demonstrators who tried to attack the governor’s workplace. It mentioned native web entry was minimize off resulting from “safety issues.”

Earlier in the day, Kurdistan Gov. Esmail Zarei Koosha insisted that visitors was flowing as regular, calling the scenario “utterly secure.”

State-run media introduced that colleges and universities in Iran’s northwestern area would shut, purportedly to curb “the unfold of influenza.”

In downtown Tehran, the capital, major sections of the standard grand bazaar closed in solidarity with the protests. Crowds clapped and shouted “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” via the labyrinthine market.

“This 12 months is a 12 months of blood!” in addition they chanted. “(Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) shall be toppled!”

Riot police on motorbikes had been out in pressure. A big group of women and men marched via the streets, setting trash cans ablaze and shouting Death to the dictator!” as vehicles honked their help. Police unleashed anti-riot bullets at protesters in the streets and sprayed pellets upward at journalists filming from home windows and rooftops. Anti-government chants additionally echoed from the University of Tehran campus.

Amini, detained for allegedly violating the nation’s strict costume code for girls, stays the potent image of protests which have posed one of the vital severe challenges to the Islamic Republic.

With the slogan .WomanLifeFreedom, the demonstrations first targeted on ladies’s rights and the state-mandated hijab, or scarf for girls. But they rapidly developed into calls to oust the Shiite clerics which have dominated Iran because the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The protests have additionally galvanized college college students, labor unions, prisoners and ethnic minorities just like the Kurds alongside Iran’s border with Iraq.

Since the protests erupted, safety forces have fired stay ammunition and tear fuel to disperse demonstrations, killing over 200 folks, in response to rights teams.

Untold numbers have been arrested, with estimates in the 1000’s. Iranian judicial officers introduced this week they’d carry over 600 folks to trial over their position in the protests, together with 315 in Tehran, 201 in the neighboring Alborz province and 105 in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi informed the state-run IRNA information company that 4 protesters had been charged with “battle towards God,” which is punishable by loss of life in Iran.

Iranian officers have blamed the protests on overseas interference, with out providing proof.

Last week, Iran imposed sanctions on over a dozen European officers, firms and establishments, together with foreign-based Farsi channels which have extensively lined the protests, accusing them of “supporting terrorism.” The sanctions contain an entry and visa ban for the staffers in addition to the confiscation of their property in Iran.

Deutsche Welle, the German public broadcaster whose Farsi crew was blacklisted, condemned the transfer on Wednesday as “unacceptable.”

“I anticipate politicians in Germany and Europe to extend the stress on the regime,” mentioned DW Director General Peter (*15*).

In a separate improvement, many of the remaining portion of a 10-story tower that collapsed earlier this 12 months in the southwestern metropolis of Abadan, killing at the least 41 folks, fell on Wednesday, state-run media reported. The state-run IRNA information company reported {that a} girl in a automotive parked close to the site was killed. Other elements of the constructing had collapsed final month.

The lethal collapse of the Metropol Building on May 23 turned a lightning rod for protests in Abadan, some 660 kilometers (410 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran. The catastrophe shined a highlight on shoddy development practices, authorities corruption and negligence in Iran.

Videos unfold on-line of the remaining tower crashing into the road as large clouds of mud billowed into the sky.


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