Iran shrine attack: One dead in Shiraz shooting

Shah Cheragh mosque was previously the target of an attack claimed by ISIS last year

Emergency services arrive at the scene following a shooting at the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz, Iran. EPA
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Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi visited the scene of a shooting at a Shiite shrine in Shiraz on Monday, which left one killed and eight injured, Iranian state news reported.

Mr Vahidi, a former commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was appointed to lead the investigation into Sunday's attack. He said he would visit the injured in hospital and that Iran's “enemies” would not succeed in their aims to destabilise the country.

“One person has been killed and eight others wounded in the attack,” official news agency IRNA reported, quoting deputy Fars governor Esmail Ghezel Sofla.

The wounded “have been transferred to medical centres and are undergoing treatment”, IRNA said.

Earlier, it said four people were killed but retracted the initial report.

The reports said two “terrorists” entered the shrine with guns, one of whom had been apprehended, according to state media.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said at least seven people were wounded and shops in the area had been closed. State TV said the shrine area had been cordoned off by security forces.

It said Mr Vahidi had dismissed the deputy interior minister for political affairs, Mohammad Reza Gholamreza, following the attack, and had met with local officials to discuss the investigation.

Mr Vahidi is himself wanted by Interpol in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that left 85 dead. At the time he was an operative with the Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC tasked with “irregular warfare” operations.

State news agency Irna posted a photo of bullet holes in glass panes at the entrance to the shrine on X, formerly known as Twitter.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Also posting on X, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wished those injured a swift recovery and warned that “a painful end awaits the perpetrators and supporters of this crime”.

The Shah Cheragh mausoleum is home to the tomb of Ahmad, brother of Imam Reza – the eighth Shiite imam – and is considered the holiest site in southern Iran.

An attack on the Shah Cheragh mosque in October 2022, claimed by ISIS, killed 13 people.

Authorities in Shiraz publicly hanged two men convicted of involvement in that attack last month.

Three others were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 25 years.

The lone gunman, said to be from Tajikistan, died in a hospital from injuries sustained during the attack.

Updated: August 14, 2023, 9:48 AM