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Iran shrine stabbing kills cleric, wounds two others

By AFP - Apr 05,2022 - Last updated at Apr 05,2022

Iranian Shiite Muslims pray at the Emamzadeh Saleh mosque in Tajrish square in northern Tehran on April 3, on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Islamic Republic (AFP photo)

TEHRAN — An attacker stabbed to death an Iranian Shiite Muslim cleric on Tuesday and wounded two others, one of them seriously, in the shrine city of Mashhad, said officials and state media.

The assailant and four suspected accomplices were arrested after the bloody attack in the Imam Reza shrine's courtyard, said Mohammad-Hossein Doroudi, the chief prosecutor of the north-eastern city.

"The attacker is a foreign national," he told the Fars news agency, without specifying the country.

Amateur video footage showed a man lying in a pool of blood in the courtyard of the site with golden domes and minarets after the attack on Iran's third day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"A man stabbed three Shiite clerics with knives, killing one and wounding two others," said the governor of Khorasan Razavi province, Yaghoub-Ali Nazari, adding that "one of the injured is in serious condition".

The Astan Quds Razavi charitable foundation which runs the shrine, said: "With the vigilance of the pilgrims and the efforts of security forces, the assailant was immediately arrested and handed over to the police, and the injured were quickly taken to the hospital.

"The identity of the assailant is under investigation," added that foundation, whose large asset portfolio was managed from 2016 to 2019 by Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran has a population of 83 million, 90 per cent of whom are Shiite.

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