Attack claimed by IS killed 12 in Iranian capital

A pair of coordinated Islamic State attacks Wednesday targeting the Iranian parliament and the shrine dedicated to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran ended with 12 dead and 42 wounded, the first ever terror attack by the group in the country.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency says two security guards have been killed and more than 30 people wounded in attacks on the parliament building and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that lawmakers and reporters were ordered to remain in place inside the chamber.

Separately, the deputy chief of the Guards' Intelligence Service, Mohammad Hossein Nejat, told the Fars news agency that the men who attacked the parliament building in Tehran were aged between 20 and 25.

One of the attackers blew himself up on the fourth floor of the parliament office building as the siege continued.

It was not clear if the assailants had been able to enter the actual mausoleum. After the turbulent years of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq wars of 1982, Iran has been a relatively peaceful and stable nation in an increasingly unstable region.

Global desk - At least 12 people have been killed in twin attacks, claimed by Islamic State militants, in the Iranian capital Tehran, officials said on Wednesday.

The self-styled "Islamic State" militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to terrorism watchdog SITE Intel Group.

Two other terrorists at the mausoleum, one of them a woman, were arrested.

The last major attack in Iran was in 2010 when a Sunni extremist group carried out a suicide attack against a mosque in Sistan-Baluchistan killing 39 people.

Tasmin news agency said there were unconfirmed reports that the attackers had taken four hostages inside the parliament building.

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.

The Islamic State's claim of responsibility could not be independently verified.

ISIS members consider the predominantly Shiite Iranians as heretical, and consider shrines to be idolatrous.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday and condemned the terrorist attacks on the institution of democracy and spirituality in Tehran.

  • Leroy Wright