ISIS attack on Iranian Parliament, Khomeini’s shrine leaves 18 dead, 50 injured

TEHRAN – At least 18 people were killed while another 50 were injured in twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in the capital, Tehran.

The assault on the parliament building appears to be over, after hours of intermittent, audible gunfire there. A suicide bomber died at the mausoleum, state run IRNA news agency reported.

Iranian officials say they managed to foil a third attack.

The so-called Islamic State group (IS) has claimed it carried out the attacks, which would be a first in Iran.

IS later posted a video which showed what it claimed was footage from inside the parliament building.

Iranian media reported that four attackers inside the parliament building had been killed by security forces.

About 40 people were injured in the two attacks, according to emergency services chief Pir Hossein Kolivand.

Gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs entered the parliament via a public entrance, dressed as women, on Wednesday morning. Images from the scene showed a major security operation as forces surrounded the building.

At about 10:40 (06:10 GMT) attackers at the mausoleum in southern Tehran, which is dedicated to the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini, opened fire.

The governor of Tehran said one attacker there had detonated a suicide vest and another had been killed by security forces, state broadcaster Irib reports.

Several members of the public, visiting the shrine, were injured.

This is the most serious terrorist violence in Tehran since the turbulent early years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Despite Iran’s active involvement in fighting IS in both Iraq and Syria, the Sunni group has not so far carried out any attacks inside Iran, and appears to have little support in this predominantly Shia country.