Four attackers, including a suicide bomber, killed a security guard and wounded four other people at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran in Iran. The Governor of Tehran was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB that one person was killed by the security forces and the rest of the assailants were arrested. The attackers also opened fire on the pilgrims at the shrine.
Called “the holy shrine” in Iran, the Khomeini shrine houses the tomb of Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, his wife Khadijeh Saqafi and his second son Ahmad Khomeini among other political figures. Ruhollah Khomeini is considered the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran and post the 1979 revolution, he assumed role as the country’s ‘Supreme Leader.’ He was succeeded by Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the current Grand Ayatollah. Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is also buried at the ‘holy shrine.’
The shrine is situated in the southern part of Tehran near the martyrs’ graves in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery. The holy shrine only had the grave and burial chamber until 40 days of Khomeini’s death. The present facilities and expansions were added later.
During the holy month of Muharram, the fountains surrounding the shrine is run with red dyed water. Every year on the anniversary of the Ayatollah’s death on June 4, thousands of mourners visit the shrine. Construction of the complex, covering 20 square km, began in 1989, but is still incomplete. Many of the soldiers killed during the Iran—Iraq War are also buried here.
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