ISIS allegedly claims responsibility for attack on Iranian parliament: 12 killed, 42 injured

nsnbc : 12 people were killed and 42 injured in an attack on the Iranian parliament Wednesday morning. Details are sketchy, but the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) allegedly claimed responsibility.

Iran_Tehran_Parliament shooting_Jun 2017Early Wednesday morning Iranian media reported that at least three unidentified gunment attacked the parliament building in the capital Tehran, and about a simultaneous attack against the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini. Extra security measures were put in place throughout the capital in response to the attack.

By noon Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence confirmed the incident and reported that one attacker was shot dead while another one blew himself up at the Khomeini shrine. The ministry reported that another attack by terrorists had been foiled but did at that time not release further details about the allegedly foiled attack.

Also shortly before noon three of the gunmen were said to have positioned themselves inside some chambers of the parliament from where they were shooting. Security forces stated that their intention, probably, had been to reach the main chamber of parliament.

By noon it was confirmed that thirteen people who had been injured by gunshots inside the parliament building were transferred to the Sina hospital in Tehran. Two of the injured were then reportedly in critical condition. There were reports about two women among these injured people.

Remarkably, parliament continued an ongoing session while Ali Laijani described the incident as “minimal” and as an incident that shows that “the terrorists” want to make a big deal of it because Iran’s main goal, so Laijani, was “to fight terrorism”. Some members of the parliament shouted “death to America” as the parliament speaker made the remarks.

By about 12:45 it was reported that the self-proclaimed Islamic State “allegedly” claimed responsibility for the attack. No independently verifiable evidence was provided to support the alleged claim or the allegation.

Muhammed Ali Ansari, head of the Ayatolah Khomeini shrine, said that one of their employees had been killed, and three guards injured as two armed men attacked the shrine Wednesday morning. Ansari said that one of the attackers blew himself up and the second one was killed by security forces. He also said that the attackers had a lot of grenades and explosives with them.

An adviser to the Iranian health ministry has said by about 12:46 that 35 people have been injured in the two shooting attacks in Tehran. The names of 31 people injured had by then already been published by the Iranian media.

At about 1:35 p.m. Iran’s deputy interior minister said that the gunmen who attacked the parliament building were disguised in women’s dresses and made their way into the building from the visitors entrance. Hussein Zulfaqar said that they know for sure that one of the attackers has been killed by the security forces. He said there are unverified reports that a second attacker is said to have blown himself up.

He said the attackers were four. Zulfaqar  added that the situation is under control in the main building of the parliament where the MPs have continued today’s session despite the gunshots. MPs were reportedly forced to eventually interrupt their session anyway when they were evacuated. The deputy minister said attackers were forced to head towards the office of the MPs after they were stopped from forcing their way towards the main hall way.

By 1.55 p.m. it was reported that the shooting at the parliament building is over as all four attackers were killed. There were also circulating  unverified reports of a hostage situation in the parliament.

By about 2:05 p.m. Iran’s emergency department reported that 12 people have been killed and 42 injured in the two attacks and that ISIS claimed responsibility. If this claim can be substantiated by evidence, it would be the first time that the organization carried out an attack in Iran.

Independent observers would note that it would be important to back claims about ISIS’s involvement by incontrovertible evidence, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not exactly a stranger to carrying attacks under false flag either. The names of the alleged, and deceased attackers have yet to be released.

CH/L – nsnbc 07.06.2017

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