At least 15 people were killed and 40 others injured in a “terrorist attack” on Wednesday at the Shahcherah temple in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, according to state media and Iranian officials.
Among the victims were two children, state-run news television reported.
Iranian security forces have arrested two suspected attackers and are hunting for a third, state news in Iran said.
The terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and issued a statement through its affiliated Amaq news agency, saying one of its members “targeted a Sunni-rejecting infidel group in the temple with his machine gun, killing dozens of people” .”
The Noor news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s top security agency, said the suspects were foreigners.
On Wednesday night, one of the shrine’s busiest times, witnesses said an attacker was in a car before targeting worshippers at its entrance, state-run IRNA reported.
“The terrorists first targeted the servants and guards of the shrine and intended to attack the congregation’s Vespers, but one of the servants shut his door,” the governor of the province of Fars said, citing the governor as quoted by state news.
“While adhan, loud screams were heard in the women’s section of the shrine [the call for prayer] Suddenly an armed man armed with a Kalashnikov was found firing indiscriminately inside the shrine compound,” a witness told state media.
The witness added: “After the initial fire, the attackers walked near the shrine and fired numerous shots at those present.”
The attack came on the same day as clashes erupted across Iran, as thousands of people came to the Massa Amini cemetery in the city of Sakiz in Kurdistan province to mark 40 days of her death, Iran’s semi-official state news agency ISNA said. It was not immediately clear if the attack was related to the protests.
Protests have swept across the Islamic Republic following the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was detained by the “morality police” on September 16 and taken to a “re-education center” for allegedly not abiding by the country’s conservative norms. Dress code.