As reported overnight, in a rare terrorist attack to strike the Iranian capital, an unknown number of ISIS terrorists attacked Iran's parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault at the heart of the Islamic Republic. Shortly after the attack concluded, the Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video showing gunmen inside the parliament building and one man, who appeared wounded, on the floor.
BREAKING: ISIS has just published a video of the Parliament attack i Iran pic.twitter.com/j56vTYzbM9— Breaking News (@BreakingNLive) June 7, 2017
According to Iran's Tasnim news agency, attackers dressed as women burst through parliament’s main entrance in central Tehran, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari said. "One of them was shot dead and another one detonated his suicide vest," he said.
"I was inside the parliament when shooting happened. Everyone was shocked and scared. I saw two men shooting randomly," said one journalist at the scene, who asked not to be named. Soon after the assault on parliament, another bomber detonated a suicide vest near the shrine of the Republic's revered founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, a few kilometres south of the city, Zolfaghari said, according to Tasnim.
The original death toll has since been revised higher, and according to Reuters, at least 12 people were killed by the attackers. Meanwhile, Iranian news agencies said four people who had attacked parliament were dead and the incident was over.
Additionally, moments ago, Iran's Intelligence Ministry said security forces had arrested another "terrorist team" planning a third attack. The attacks took place less than a month after the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who defeated candidates supported by the hardline clergy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It also took place two days after Gulf nations launched a diplomatic and naval blockade of Qatar for, among other things, financially supporting Iran.
This was the first attack claimed by the hardline Sunni Muslim militant group inside the mostly Shi'ite Muslim country. Iran is one of the powers leading the fight against Islamic State militants in neighbouring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria.