WATCH: ISIS Claimed Attacks on Iran’s Parliament & Ayatollah Khomeini’s Grave Kills 12

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(AP) Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked Iran’s parliament and the shrine of its revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people, wounding dozens and igniting an hours-long siege at the legislature that ended with four attackers dead.

Iranian police run away from ISIS attack.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, marking the first time the Sunni extremists have taken responsibility for an assault in Shiite-majority Iran. The militants are at war with Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and view Shiites as apostates.

Iran parliament attack

The attacks began midmorning when assailants armed with AK-47’s rifles stormed the parliament building. One of the attackers later blew himself up inside, where a session had been in progress, according to a statement carried by Iran’s state TV.

Iranian policemen evacuate a child from the parliament building in Tehran on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, during an attack on the complex.

Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari told Iran’s state TV the apparently male attackers wore women’s attire. The semi-official Tasnim news agency later reported the siege had ended with four of the attackers killed.

Mizan Online, an Iranian state-run news website, said 12 people were killed and 42 wounded in the two attacks. It quoted Pirhossein Kolivand, the head of Iran’s emergency department.

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani (2nd R) pays his respects to the grave of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at his mausoleum in Tehran June 16, 2013. Reuters/Fars News/Seyed Hassan Mousavi (IRAN – Tags: POLITICS)

The ISIS group’s Aamaq news agency released a 24-second video purportedly shot inside the parliament building during the siege. The video, circulated online, shows a gunman and a bloody, lifeless body of a man lying on the ground next to a desk.

A voice on the video praises God and says in Arabic: “Do you think we will leave? We will remain, God willing.” Another voice repeats the same words.

The two appeared to be parroting a slogan used by IS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year.

 

An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the parliament. Shops in the area were shuttered, and gunfire could be heard. Witnesses said the attackers were shooting from the fourth floor of the parliament building down at people in the streets below.

“Iran is an active and effective pillar in the fight against terrorists and they want to damage it,” he said.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Soon after the parliament attack, a suicide bomber and other assailants targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini located just outside the capital, Tehran, according to Iran’s official state broadcaster. It said a security guard was killed and that one of the attackers was killed by security guards. A woman was also arrested.

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani (2nd R) pays his respects to the grave of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at his mausoleum in Tehran June 16, 2013. Reuters/Fars News/Seyed Hassan Mousavi

Khomeini, who died in 1989, is a towering figure in Iran. He led the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the Western-backed shah and became Iran’s first supreme leader.

 

AP and ABC contributed to this report

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