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Five Suspects Detained Over Tehran Attacks

Journalists and a police vehicle at the scene outside Iranian parliament in the capital Tehran during an attack on the complex, 07Jun2017
Journalists and a police vehicle at the scene outside Iranian parliament in the capital Tehran during an attack on the complex, 07Jun2017

Five suspects have been detained in connection with the June 7 suicide attack at Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in the Iranian capital, according to Tehran’s chief of police, Hossein Sajedi Nia.

“Security police officials are currently interrogating the suspects,” Sajedi Nia said.

According to Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Commission, a female suspect had also been detained yesterday, in relation to the terrorist attacks in the capital.

In addition to the announcement about the arrests, the Intelligence ministry also announced the first names of the five gunmen who carried out Wednesday’s attacks. The ministry refused to release their full names claiming security reasons.

Officials also believe that the perpetrators were Sunni extremists who were recruited in Iran and then had fought for the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier, Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaqari told Iran's state TV that the male attackers wore women's attire to storm the parliament building.

In an interview with Fars News, Tehran’s southwest chief constable, Hameed Bahmanyari, said, “The female suspect was not armed but captured while being present on the sidelines of yesterday’s terror attacks and apparently connected to the assailants.”

Elaborating on the terror operation at Khomeini’s mausoleum, Sajedi Nia said, “After shooting a guard, the assailants entered the compound, where they were confronted by other guards. In an exchange of fire, one of the attackers was shot, and the other -- who was trying to detonate his explosive belt among police personnel -- was gunned down and killed, as well.”

Nevertheless, some earlier reports suggested the assailant was indeed successful in detonating his explosive belt.

Armed men and suicide bombers simultaneously attacked Iran's parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of Iran’s Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, on June 7, killing at least 16 people and wounding 52.

All four assailants were shot and killed by security forces.

The victims of Wednesday’s attacks included three women, according to the president of the police forensic department, Ahmad Shoja’ee.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group immediately claimed the attacks, marking the first time it has taken responsibility for an assault inside Shi’ite-majority Iran.

“There are more attacks on the way,” Sunni extremist IS warned Iran.

All those taking part in the attack were citizens of Iran, according to Reza Saifullahi, deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

The Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi has said, “The Intelligence Ministry has exposed 100 terrorist plots and neutralized them over the past two years.”

In the June 7 twin attacks 17 people were killed, four of whom have not yet been identified. This figure does not include the attackers. Fifty people were injured.

Time and again, during the past two years, Iranian judiciary, security, and intelligence officials have talked about IS elements trying to infiltrate Iran for terror operations. Without elaboration or presenting details, all these operations were thwarted by Iranian forces, the officials maintained.