A powerful bomb in the men’s section of Martyrs Hossenieh mosque in Shiraz has killed at least nine people, and injuring at least 105 others. The bomb exploded during a sermon by Hojatoleslam Anjavinejad, the executive secretary of Friday Prayers Organization of Fars province. Anjavinejad escaped unhurt, but the force of explosion was felt within a 1.5 kilometer radius of the Hosseinieh, in the heart of one of Shiraz’s residential quarters.
Bombs are rarity in Iran. No one has yet taken responsibility for the blast. Hojatoleslam Anjavinejad is a cleric popular with young religious crowds and his sermons typically contain attacks on Wahabis, the fundamentalist Sunni sect with largest following in Saudi Arabia.
At the time of the blast, Anjavinejad was addressing the youths affiliated with Rahpouyan Vesal-e Shiraz organization. An eyewitness report put the number of people in attendance at around 800. The blast happened at 9pm local time on Saturday.