Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s official news agency said on Monday that the gunman who killed 13 people at a major Shiite shrine last month was a Tajik citizen.
The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the October 26 attack on Shah Cherag in the city of Shiraz, one of Iran’s top five Shiite temples. But the government has tried to blame largely peaceful anti-government protests without providing evidence.
Iran initially said 15 people had died in Shiraz, but later revised the number to 13, citing double counting.
A report on IRNA identified the shooter as Soburn Komurouni. He died from injuries sustained in his arrest in a hospital in southern Iran days after the October 26 attack.
A report on Monday, citing Iran’s intelligence ministry, said the shooter’s accomplice was Afghan citizen Mohammad Ramez Rashidi. His third suspect, from neighboring Azerbaijan, was the “main coordinator” of the attack from Tehran, the Iranian capital, the report said.
IRNA said authorities had arrested 26 suspects – all of them nationals of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan – reportedly linked to extremist groups, in the attack on the shrine. It is said that there is
Without giving details, some suspects said they were planning similar attacks in the southeastern cities of Sistan and Balchestan provinces of Zahedan, the site of last week’s deadly unrest.
Iran has been embroiled in anti-government protests for weeks after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman died in custody in September after being detained for violating the country’s strict dress code for women.