Two simultaneous terrorist attacks claimed by the Islamic State group struck Iran’s parliament and the mausoleum of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday, leaving several people dead, state media reported.
The Islamic State said it was behind the raids on parliament and the shrine, the militia’s semi-official Amaq news agency said, citing a security source.
Between three and four armed men are reported to have opened fire at the parliament building in Tehran before bursting inside and taking hostages.
The Tasnim news agency said that up to seven people were dead at the site, including a security guard. However reports of casualties varied in Iranian media and it was unclear whether the attackers were among the dead.
The IRNA press agency reported that 31 people were injured.
The situation in parliament, called the Majlis, was unclear. The site was put on lockdown, but there were conflicting reports as to whether the situation was under control.
Press TV reported that hostage rescue forces were at the scene and that a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a parliamentary office building. Other reports said gunfire was still on-going.
“This is a minor issue but reveals that the terrorists pursue troublemaking,” the speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, said.
“As you know, some coward terrorists infiltrated a building in Majlis (parliament), but they were seriously confronted,” Larijani was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news agency.
Heavily armed assailants also struck the Khomeini mausoleum several kilometres south of the capital.
One of the attackers detonated a suicide bomb, reported Tasnim, which also posted an image of a detached head that it said belonged to the bomber.
The Fars news agency said at least two people were killed in the raid on the tomb and 10 injured.
The Islamic State’s claim of responsibility could not be independently verified.
If confirmed, Wednesday’s attacks would be the first known to have been carried out by the radical Sunni Islamic State in mostly Shiite Iran.
Iran is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main supporters in his fight against the rebel groups seeking to oust him.(dpa/NAN)