A file photo shows Iranians boys painted and dressed for a traditional mourning ceremony in Islamic month of Muharram, in city of Nushabad, Isfahan province, in central Iran, 26 July 2023. EFE-EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Iran arrests four after deadly attack on Shia shrine in Shiraz

International Desk, Aug 14 (EFE).- Authorities in Iran arrested four suspects on Monday hours after an attack claimed one life and wounded eight devotees at a Shia Muslim pilgrimage shrine in the southern city of Shiraz.

“Four suspects have been arrested so far for their links to the attack,” said Seyed Kazem Mousavi, the head of the local judiciary in the Fars province.

On Sunday, a man carrying an assault rifle opened fire at eight people and killed one at the Shah Cheragh shrine, one of the most frequented places of Shia pilgrimage, before being subdued and arrested.

One of the injured is in critical condition.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi arrived in Shiraz on Monday to investigate the attack.

“If the enemies think that they can endanger security and stability of Iran with cowardly actions like opening fire on people, they are wrong,” Vahidi said.

The minister said the silence of international bodies and countries claiming to defend human rights encouraged such “terrorist acts.”

Mousavi said investigators were interrogating the attacker in judicial custody.

The shooting took place late in the evening.

Videos shared by Iranian media showed people fleeing in panic amid gunshot sounds.

Fars governor Mohamad Hadi Imaniyeh said the attacker is a “takfiri element,” a radical Islamist who declares another Muslim an apostate who does not follow the basic tenets of Islam.

Shias usually call radical Sunni Muslim groups, such as the Islamic State, “takfiri elements.

President Ebrahim Raisi ordered an investigation to “swiftly identify and punish the perpetrators.”

The Shah Cheragh shrine came under attack that killed 13 people and wounded 20 others in October last year.

The Islamic State militant group claimed that attack.

In mid-July, Iran executed two men for involvement in the October 2022 attack.

The suspects confessed that they were in contact with the Islamic State in neighboring Afghanistan and had assisted in organizing the attack on the shrine, one of the most important in Shia Islam.

The shrine houses the tomb of Ahmed bin Musa – one of the most revered figures by Shia Muslims. EFE