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Iran warns of spread of terrorism as twin attacks hit Tehran
Last Updated: 2017-06-08 00:00 | Xinhua
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Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran on Wednesday, killing at least 13 people and wounded 43 others, according to Iran's Interior Ministry.

All the four assailants that raided the parliament and the two that attacked the Khomeini Shrine were killed.

IS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY

The attackers targeting the parliament were dressed as women. One of them blasted his explosive belt and the three others were shot dead by the security forces after a five-hour siege on the gunmen's hideouts inside the parliament.

Also, one of the two attackers that raided Khomeini Shrine blasted his explosive belt and the three others were shot dead by security guards.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attacks and threatened to stage more. The two attacks were the first launched by the group against Iran.

Reza Seifollhai, the deputy head of Iran's National Security Council, told state TV late Wednesday that the attackers were Iranians who had joined IS. Iranian police said they had arrested five suspects.

OFFICIAL REACTIONS

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: "These fireworks have no effect on Iran. They will soon be eliminated."

"They are too small to affect the will of the Iranian nation and its officials," state TV quoted him as saying.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the attacks, saying terrorism is a serious threat to global security.

"Terrorism is a global issue and it necessitates regional and international convergence to fight extremism, terrorism and violence," said Rouhani. "We will prove once again that we will crush the enemies' plots with more unity and more strength."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also denounced the terror attacks, saying "indiscriminate" terror attacks are threatening the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry on Wednesday said another terrorist team was busted before carrying out any operation in Tehran and some suspects were arrested.

On Wednesday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani downplayed the terrorist attack at parliament, saying it was a "minor issue."

"Today several coward terrorists penetrated into the parliament building and were dealt with seriously," Larijani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

He said terrorists are seeking to create trouble for the country, which is actively fighting against terrorism.

REGIONAL QUARREL

As Zarif tweeted "Proxies attack what their masters despise most: the seat of democracy", the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) vowed to retaliate Wednesday's deadly terrorist attacks in the capital and accused Riyadh of being behind the attacks

"This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack," an IRGC statement said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said he did not know who was responsible for the attacks and said there was no evidence Saudi extremists were involved.

Militant attacks are rare in Tehran and other major cities although two Sunni militant groups, Jaish al-Adl and Jundallah, have been waging a deadly insurgency, mostly in remote areas, for almost a decade.

Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province, located in the southeast on the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to the Balouch minority and has long been a hotbed of Sunni insurgents fighting the Shi'ite-led republic.

Last year, Iranian authorities said they foiled a plot by Sunni militants to bomb targets in Tehran and other cities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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