Iran's President Orders Ministry To Investigate Fatal Mashhad Stabbing

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has ordered the Intelligence Ministry to investigate a knife attack on three clergymen in the Imam Reza shrine in the northeastern city of Mashhad that left at least one dead.

Raisi said on April 6 that the ministry should identify and prosecute all perpetrators of the incident, which took place the day before.

Raisi blamed the knife attack on the influence of "takfiri" -- a term used for Sunni extremists, including the Islamic State (IS) group.

The authorities said the alleged assailant, whom some media have identified as a foreign national, had been detained. At least four suspected accomplices were also arrested, while the motive for the attack remains unclear.

The Mehr news agency reported on April 5 that a second cleric had died after being taken to a hospital.

But the semiofficial ISNA news agency on April 6 quoted the chief of Kamyab hospital in Mashhad, Masoud Khani, as saying that the two clerics injured in the attack were in a stable condition.

"The first 24 to 48 hours are very sensitive for trauma patients, we have to wait and see," Khani was quoted as saying by ISNA.

Reports said a memorial service for Hojatoleslam Mohammad Aslani, killed in the attack, will be held on April 7. He was due to be buried on April 8 in a square reserved for martyrs in the courtyard of the shrine.