Twin attacks on Iran parliament and Khomeini shrine, 1 dead

It described the shrine attackers as "terrorists" and said one carried out a suicide bombing.

Earlier reports said exchange of gunfire in a corridor of the parlaiment has injured a security guard in the parliament.

Assailants armed with Kalashnikov rifles stormed the parliament building on Wednesday; one of the attackers blew himself up inside the parliament while another group of attackers struck the shrine, according to a statement by Iran's state TV. Hours after the attacks, parliament was still in lockdown with some of the attackers still battling security forces. The remaining two attackers were arrested, the Iranian Labour News Agency reported.

Sunni extremists, including the IS, despise Shiite-majority Iran.

Jihadist groups have clashed frequently with security forces along Iran's borders with Iraq and Afghanistan, but the country has largely escaped attacks within its urban centres.

Mizan Online, an Iranian state-run news website, said 12 people were killed and 42 wounded in the two attacks.

The shrine lies around 20 kilometres away from parliament and houses the body of Khomeini, who led the Islamic revolution in 1979. Iranian Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Hashemi said the death toll is likely to increase.

The news agency published photos showing the suicide bomber blowing herself up outside.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks or if they were co-ordinated.

Tehran is reportedly in lockdown as police block the streets and shut down the metro, although the twin sieges are over.

Gun ownership is heavily controlled in Iran, raising speculation that the attackers' guns were smuggled into the country. All four attackers were killed during the violence.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry says it foiled a third attack and is asking people to avoid public transportation, state broadcaster IRIB reports.

Four gunmen forced themselves into the Parliament during a session and started shooting at security guards and visitors, killing at least seven guards and wounding several others, Efe news reported. It did not provide further details about Wednesday's shooting.

  • Zachary Reyes