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Shooting at Shiite shrine kills 4 — state media – DW – 08/13/2023

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A shooting at a Shiite shrine in southern Iran killed at least four people, state media said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Shah Cheragh mausoleum is the tomb of Ahmad, who was the brother of the eight Shiite imam, Imam Reza. It is considered one of Iran’s holiest sites.

The shrine is located in Shiraz, which is the capital of the southern Fars province.

Partially shattered window with visible bullet holes at Shah Cheragh shrine following shooting
Conflicting reports were given regarding the number of gunmen involved in the attack on the Shah Cheragh shrineImage: Fars

What did authorities say about the attack?

“Four people have been killed so far following a terrorist attack,” official news agency IRNA said.

Conflicting reports were given regarding the number of gunmen involved in the attack.

IRNA and the Tasnim news agency reported that two attackers carried out the shooting.

The Fars commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Yadollah Bouali spoke of only one gunman in televised comments.

“A terrorist entered the gate of the shrine and opened fire with a battle rifle,” Bouali said. “Several pilgrims who were nearby were injured.”

Fars Governor Mohamed Hadi Imanieh told state TV that the attack occurred around 7:00 p.m. local time (1530 UTC).

Attack follows similar shooting last year

The Shah Cheragh shrine was also attacked in October 2022, in a shooting which authorities said killed at least 15 people.

The so-called “Islamic State” (IS) terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

IRNA reported that the gunman was a citizen of Tajkistan who died after sustaining injuries during his arrest.

A month later, authorities said 26 “takifiri terrorists” from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan had been arrested in connection with the attack.

“Takfiri” is a term used to refer to Sunni Muslim extremists, including those in IS, who believe Shiites are apostates. Iran is a Shiite-majority country, with substantial Sunni minorities concentrated in the northwest and southeast.

On July 8, two other men of unspecified nationality were hanged in connection with the shooting, and three other defendants were sentence to prison for five, 15 and 25 years.

sdi/jcg (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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