Gunmen attack major Shiite holy site in Iran, killing 15

Gunmen attack major Shiite holy site in Iran, killing 15

Gunmen opened fire on a major Shiite holy site in the southern city of Shiraz on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, according to state media.

The official website of the judiciary says two gunmen were arrested and the third is absconding after the attack on the Shah Cherag mosque. The state-run IRNA news agency reported the death toll and state TV said 40 people were injured.

The attack, which identified Sunni extremists who have targeted the country’s Shia majority in the past, has sparked Iran’s more than a month of anti-government protests, the worst for the Islamic republic in more than a decade. Big challenge. ,

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Thousands of protesters took to the streets of a northwestern city to mark the watershed 40 days after the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose tragedy sparked protests.

Death is re-celebrated in Shia Islam “like many other traditions” after 40 days, usually with mourning. In Amini’s Kurdish hometown of Sakez, the birthplace of the nationwide unrest that is now ravaging Iran, mobs stormed a local cemetery and stormed his grave.

“Death to the dictator!” Protesters cried, according to video footage that matched known features of the city and Aichi Cemetery. Women tore off their head scarf, or hijab, and waved them over their heads. Other videos show a massive procession marching along a highway and through a dusty ground towards Amini’s grave. Roads are reported to be closed in the area.

State media reported 10,000 protesters in a procession visiting his grave.

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Kurdish human rights group Hangau said security forces fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The semi-official ISNA news agency said security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters on the outskirts of Sakez and pushed back protesters who tried to attack the governor’s office. It said that local Internet access had been turned off “for security reasons”.

Earlier in the day, the Kurdistan government Ismail Zarei Kusha described the situation as “absolutely stable” and insisted that traffic was flowing normally.

State-run media announced that schools and universities in Iran’s northwestern region would be closed, reportedly to prevent the “spread of influenza”.

In the capital Tehran, major parts of the traditional grand market closed in solidarity with the protest. The crowd clapped and shouted “Azadi! Azadi! Azadi!” Through the Maze Market.

“This year is the year of blood!” He also chanted. “(Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) will be toppled!”

There was a riot in the police force on motorcycles. A large group of men and women marched through the streets, set fire to dustbins and put the dictator to death!” As cars honked their support, police opened anti-riot shots at protesters in the streets and windows. Shrapnel was sprayed on journalists filming in the city, and anti-government slogans echoed from the rooftops of the Tehran University campus.

Amini, detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women, remains a strong symbol of protest that has posed one of the most serious challenges for the Islamic republic.

With the slogan #WomanLifeFreedom, the demonstrations first focused on women’s rights and the state-mandated hijab, or headscarf for women. But they quickly turned into a call for the expulsion of Shia clerics who have ruled Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The protests have also infuriated university students, labor unions, prisoners and ethnic minorities such as Kurds on Iran’s border with Iraq.

According to rights groups, since the protests began, security forces fired ammunition and tear gas to disperse the demonstrations, in which more than 200 people were killed.

Untold numbers have been arrested, with estimates in the thousands. Iranian judicial officials announced this week that they would bring more than 600 people to trial for their role in the protests, including 315 in Tehran, 201 in neighboring Alborz province and 105 in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi told the state-run IRNA news agency that the four protesters were charged with a “war on God”, which in Iran carries the death penalty.
Iranian officials have accused foreign interference in the protests without providing evidence.

Last week, Iran imposed sanctions on more than a dozen European officials, companies and institutions, including foreign-based Persian channels that have widely covered the protests, accusing them of “supporting terrorism”. have put. The sanctions include the entry and visa restrictions of employees in Iran, besides the confiscation of their assets.

German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, whose Persian team was blacklisted, condemned the move on Wednesday, calling it “unacceptable”.

“I expect politicians in Germany and Europe to increase the pressure on the regime,” said DW Director-General Peter Limberg.

In a separate development, most of the remaining 10-storey tower that collapsed earlier this year in the southwestern city of Abadan collapsed on Wednesday, killing at least 41 people, state-run media reported. The state-run IRNA news agency said a woman in a car parked near the scene was killed. Other parts of the building had collapsed last month.

The fatal collapse of the Metropole building on 23 May became a lightning rod for protests in Abadan, about 660 kilometers (410 mi) southwest of the capital Tehran. The disaster highlighted shoddy construction practices, government corruption and negligence in Iran.

Videos of the rest of the tower crashing into the road spread online as large clouds of dust covered the sky.

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