Iran shrine attack mourners chant against Amini 'riots'

4 months ago 29

TEHRAN: Mourners gathered Saturday in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz to bury the victims of a deadly assault on a shrine, while chanting slogans against nationwide “riots” over Mahsa Amini’s death.

At least 15 people were killed Wednesday in a key Shiite Muslim shrine in the city, according to official media, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The shooting at the Shah Cheragh mausoleum came on the same day that thousands of people across Iran paid tribute to Amini, 40 days after her death in police custody.

Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly breaching the country's Islamic dress code for women.

Remarks made Thursday by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi appeared to link the Shiraz attack, one of the country’s deadliest in years, with the protests and “riots” following Amini’s death.

“The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots pave the ground for terrorist acts,“ he said in televised remarks.

During Saturday’s funeral processions in Iran, the crowd also chanted slogans condemning the United States, Israel and Britain for allegedly being “behind the riots”, according to live footage broadcast on state television.

Brandishing Shiite symbols, the crowd marched through central Shiraz following a vehicle carrying the victims' coffins which were draped in the Iranian flag.

The crowd can be heard chanting “Death to America, to Israel, to England” and “The vigilant revolutionary people hates the rioters.”

During the ceremony, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of Iran’s military, urged “a limited number of youth deceived” by the Islamic republic’s enemies to put an end to the “riots”.

“Today is when the riots end,“ warned Major General Hossein Salami, calling on students “not to become chess pieces for the enemy”.

Students in several universities in Tehran and other Iranian cities have been protesting in the weeks since Amini's death, with some chanting anti-regime slogans.

“Stop going out to the streets,“ the Revolutionary Guards chief said.

Salami meanwhile accused Saudi leaders of fuelling the unrest, and warned its royal family “and the media under their control to be careful”.

“You, who provoke people and sow the seeds of sedition by showing images (from Iran), think a little about what could happen to you,“ Salami added.-AFP

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