According to Iranian officials and state media, at least 15 people were killed and 40 injured in an attack Wednesday at the Shahcheragh Shrine in Shiraz, southern Iran.
It is reported that two children were among the victims, according to the state-run Press TV.
The Iranian security forces have arrested two of the suspected attackers, and a manhunt is underway for a third, state news reported.
As ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, it had released a statement through its affiliated Amaq news agency claiming one of its members “targeted groups of Sunni refusal infidels inside the shrine with his machine gun, causing the death of tens of them.”
It was reported by the Nour News Agency, an affiliate of Iran’s top security body, that the suspects were foreigners.
Eyewitnesses reported that the attacker was in a car before targeting worshippers at the shrine’s entrance on Wednesday evening, which is one of the busiest times for the shrine.
According to the governor of Fars province, “the terrorist first targeted the servant and guard of the shrine, and intended to attack the congregational evening prayers, but one of the servants shut the door on him,” according to state news.
“Loud screams were heard in the women’s section of the shrine at the time of adhan [the call for prayer] and suddenly an armed man was spotted with a Kalashnikov firing indiscriminately in the compound of the shrine,” a witness reported.
“After the initial burst of fire, the attacker went near the shrine and fired many rounds at those present at the scene,” said an eyewitness.
The attack took place on the same day that clashes broke out across Iran as thousands of people marked 40 days since Mahsa Amini’s death in Saqqez, a city in Kurdistan province, ISNA reported. As of now, it’s unclear whether the attack was related to the protests.
As a result of the death of the Kurdish Iranian woman, 22, on September 16, protests have swept the Islamic Republic. She died after being taken to a “re-education center” by the “morality police,” allegedly for not following the conservative dress code of her country.