It was 5:45 in the evening of 26 October, according to the local time in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, when a gunman assailant had entered in the much revered holy shrine of Shah Cheragh. The shrine was fully crowded as usual; the gunman had opened fire on the pilgrims indiscriminately. The shooting had resulted into the brutal killing of 15 innocent civilians including two children and one woman.
According to the country’s state news agency, IRNA there were the attackers were three armed men. However, the CCTV footage released by the Iranian interior ministry, there was only gunman which could be seen easily from the released footage.
As per Reuters news agency, the banned terrorist outfit the ISIS has claimed the responsibility of the attack through their telegram channel. Aljazeera English has also reported that the ISIS has claimed the responsibility of killing Iranian pilgrims at the shrine.
The horrific attack on the civilians has met an utmost condemnation and the feelings of anger, resentment and revenge from the Iranian officials as well as from the ordinary citizens.
The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei has said in response to the killing that “the perpetrators of the Shiraz terror attack will be punished.”
President of Iran Syed Ibrahim Raisi has responded that “the Takfiri terrorist attack- the term used by Tehran to label Salafi hardline militants like ISIS, on the holy shrine in shiraz will not go unanswered. The country’s security and law enforcement forces, having identified the root causes of this heinous crime, will deliver a decisive response to its architects and operatives.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian has claimed that they have solid information stating that “the enemies of Iran are pursuing ‘multilayered’ project to undermine Iran’s security.”
According to the police commander Iran’s Fars province, the attacker opened indiscriminate firing at the pilgrims inside the shrine and was himself wounded an arrested by the security forces.
The Nour news agency affiliated with the Iran’s top news body has claimed that the militant was a foreign national. The further details about the militant are still to be awaited.
The terrorist attack on the holy shrine could a be a sequential part of the ongoing protests in Iran after the death of a Kurdish girl Masha Amini, a 22 year old by the hand of Iran’s morality police.
After her tragic death, hundreds of thousands of Iranians from all the segments of the society have poured out into the streets to protest against the death of Masha AMINI.
However, the protests have been transformed into the anti-regime rhetoric. According to the Iranian interior ministry, the ongoing disturbances which have troubled people in the past days , is taking a dangerous course, and the terrorist groups have taken the advantage of the status quo to stage the attacks.
Meanwhile, the western powers and their media have been supporting the protesters and have been successful in portraying the ongoing protests as the long awaited revolution of Iran against the religious dominated rule in Iran since the Islamic revolutions of Iran in 1979. Iran has remained a relatively peaceful country in the war of terrorism. The amalgamation of terrorist attacks with the internal civil unrest could cause serious challenges for the resilient nation of Iran.