Iran court sentences two to death over deadly shrine attack
DUBAI, March 18 (Reuters) – An Iranian court has handed out death sentences to two men over an attack on a Shi’ite shrine in Iran that killed 15 people in October and was claimed by the militant group Islamic State, the official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.
Fars Province judiciary head Kazem Mousavi said the two men had been found guilty of charges including “spreading corruption on earth” and acting against national security, IRNA reported, adding that the sentences can be appealed.
CCTV footage broadcast on state TV showed the attacker entering the popular Shah Cheragh shrine in the southern city of Shiraz after hiding an assault rifle in a bag and shooting as worshippers tried to flee and hide in corridors.
The gunman, identified as a citizen of Tajikistan, later died in a hospital from injuries sustained during the attack.
The two men sentenced to death said during the trial that they had been in contact with the Islamic State in neighbouring Afghanistan and helped organise the attack, Iranian media reported.
Three other men received jail sentences ranging from five to 25 years in the trial, Mousavi said, adding that several other “Daesh (Islamic State) suspects linked to this case” were awaiting trial.
Islamic State, which once posed a security threat across the Middle East, has claimed previous violence in Iran, including deadly twin attacks in 2017 that targeted parliament and the tomb of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.