Two dead in attack on Iran Shia worshippers: state media
Iranian authorities said it isn't clear whether the attack was "a terrorist one"
Pakistani Shia Muslims pray amid Ashura commemorations in the country (AFP)
Published date: 17 October 2015 11:24 UTC | Last update: 3 years 5 months ago
Two Iranians were killed late on Friday in a shooting attack on Shia worshippers marking Ashura, one of the holiest commemorations of the faith, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Two people were also wounded in the attack in the town of Dezful in Khuzestan province, the news agency said.
The southwestern province, which borders Iraq, has a significant ethnic Arab community, some of it Sunni, and has seen a number of armed attacks in recent years, according to Iranian media.
The assailants opened fire on the Shia place of worship from a car carrying no licence plates.
"It's not still clear whether the attack was a terrorist one," provincial police official Colonel Rahman Mousavi said.
"Investigators are reviewing the matter and will announce the results as soon as possible."
Ashura commemorations -- which climax on 24 October -- mark the killing of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, by the army of the Caliph Yazid in 680 AD. That event lies at the heart of Islam's divide into Shiite and Sunni sects.
In recent years, there has been a spate of attacks on Ashura celebrations around the region by Sunni groups which regard Shia as heretics.
On Friday evening, five people were killed in a shooting attack claimed by militants linked to the Islamic State group against Shia worshippers in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional rival.