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Iran Assails Saudi Arabia After Pair of Deadly Terrorist Attacks

Of the 12 victims of the attacks, 11 died at the Parliament building, and one at the mausoleum. In addition, six assailants were killed: four at the Parliament, and two at the mausoleum. Five were men, and one of the mausoleum attackers was a woman.

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The attacks unfolded over several hours, starting around 10:30 a.m., when men armed with assault rifles and suicide vests some of them dressed as women descended on the Parliament building, killing at least one security guard, and wounding and kidnapping other people. The standoff lasted for about four hours.

The building has been undergoing renovations intended to enhance security, particularly at the entrance, but they have yet to be completed.

In a sign that elite security forces had encountered trouble containing the situation, one attacker left the Parliament an hour into the siege, then ran around shooting on Tehran s streets before returning to the building where at least one of the assailants blew himself up on the fourth floor as others continued firing from the windows.

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I cannot talk, I m stuck here and the situation is really dangerous, the shooting is continuing, we are surrounded and I cannot talk, an Iranian journalist, Ehsan Bodaghi, said by phone from inside the building during the standoff, before the call was disconnected. Yelling and screaming could be heard in the background.

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Mohammad Ali Saki, editor of The Tehran Times, said in a phone interview that the four assailants at the Parliament building had targeted guards, cleaners, employees of the administrative and finance sections, but had never got near the Parliament chamber itself.

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The assailants were armed with AK-47s and hand grenades and wore what appeared to be explosive vests, he said.

Mohammed Abasi, a photographer who arrived at the scene as the attack was unfolding, said he saw security forces firing at the attackers from outside. He added: Some of the reporters and photographers who were there to cover the Parliament s meeting were stuck inside, and then rescued later. From what I could tell, the representatives remained inside the hall.

The attackers had evidently used the main entrance, catching the security forces by surprise. They were intending on entering the main hall, but the security forces prevented that so they went into the offices in an adjacent building, Mr. Abasi said. Naturally, for a few hours a terrorist attack like this leaves a shock our countrymen were killed, and this was a terrorist attack. But I already see that it is uniting Iranians there is a sense of fight.

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The speaker of Parliament, Ali Larijani, tried to play down the attacks as a minor incident, saying that some cowardly terrorists had infiltrated the legislative complex and vowing that the security forces will definitely take serious measures against them.

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The Islamic State released a graphic 24-minute video showing a bloodied man lying on the ground in Parliament while a gunman in the background shouted in Arabic, Thank God! Do you think that we are going to leave? We will remain here, God willing.

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