TEHRAN: Iran has arrested 26 foreigners suspected of involvement in a deadly attack on a Shiite temple claimed by the militant Islamic State group, the information ministry said on Monday.
At least 13 people were killed in the October 26 attack on Shah Cheragh’s mausoleum in Shiraz, according to official tolls.
“The Ministry of Information has identified and arrested all agents involved in terrorist activities in Shiraz,” said a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
The statement said the 26 “Takfiri terrorists” are from Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The term takfiri in Iran and some other countries refers to radical Sunni Islamist groups.
Government says those involved in Shah Chela Temple tragedy belonged to Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan
“The terrorists were arrested in the provinces of Fars, Tehran, Alborz, Kerman, Qom and Razavi Khorasan, as well as along Iran’s “eastern border,” the ministry added.
The shooting at this shrine, considered the holiest Shia shrine in southern Iran, prompted thousands across the country to pay their respects to Mercer Amini 40 days after her death in police custody. It happened on the same day shown. She was identified as Sobhan Komrouni by the Ministry of Information and died of wounds sustained during her arrest. The ministry said he was a “Tajik national” known as Abu Aisha.
Azerbaijanis who were the main coordinators of the attacks in Iran were also arrested, he added, entering the country from Baku through Tehran’s international airport.
He added that he had been in contact with IS networks abroad after arriving in Tehran.
On October 31, the ministry announced that several people had been arrested, including an “operations supporter” identified as Mohammed Ramez Rashidi, an Afghan national, on Monday.
President Ebrahim Raisi’s remarks last month appeared to link the protests and “riots” following Amini’s death with the Shiraz attack, one of the deadliest in years in the country. He vowed a “severe response” to the attack.
Fire at a petroleum facility
In a separate incident in the same city, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Sunday that its troops had killed “elements opposing the revolution” after an attack on a military base in Mahshar.
A fire at an oil export facility in southern Iran has been extinguished without causing damage, according to local media.
“Fire broke out in an open oil channel leading to an export port in the city of Mahshar,” Fars news agency reported after Sunday’s incident. Thick smoke was billowing over the port, the agency said.
Mahshahr is located in Khuzestan, an oil-rich province that borders Iraq.
Tasnim’s agency described the fire as “minor”, adding that there were no “human or economic losses”.
A port security manager, quoted by Rokna’s news website, said the fire was caused by a technical failure in the lighting system near the open channel. Fars said Mahshahr governor Fereydoun Bandari said “firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to oil tanks at the export port.” The cause of the incident is under investigation, he added.
Published at dawn on November 8, 2022