At Least 15 Dead After Mass Shooting At Shia Shrine In Iran

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Matthew Holloway Contributor
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At least 15 people are dead and 27 are injured following an armed attack on a Shi’ite Muslim shrine in the Iranian city of Shiraz on Wednesday according to the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

The attack took place while security forces fought with protesters still taking to the streets now 40 days after Mahsa Amini died in government custody, the outlet reported

The Iranian press described the attackers as “takfiri terrorists,” Reuters reported.  “Takfiri” is a pejorative term that loosely translates to ‘apostates’ or ‘infidels,’ which the theocratic state uses to describe armed Sunni Islamist groups.

“A Muslim or a Muslim group is Takfiri if it declares another Muslim or a Muslim sect as apostate.” explained Pakistani religious scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi when he spoke with VOA News in 2016.

At the Shah Cheragh shrine, the attackers reportedly fired on worshippers and staff near the entrance, witnesses told IRNA. Reuters reported that Iranian police arrested two attackers and are actively searching for the third.

Twitter account Iran Daily posted video allegedly showing one of the attackers.

This report conflicts with IRNA’s reporting that the attacker was a lone gunman who was arrested. Governor Mohammad Hadi Imanieh of Fars Province “said that the attacker had also got injuries and is now in police custody,” IRNA reported.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, reacting to the attack “said that the country’s security and law enforcement agencies will give a response to the perpetrators that will make them regret their evil act,” the outlet added in a later report. (RELATED: Iranian Troops In Crimea Supported Russian Drone Strikes, US Official Says)

Raisi reportedly said, “the terrorist attack is yet another crime committed by enemies of the Islamic Republic.”

Several women and children are reported to be among the dead according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, cited by Reuters.