According to authorities, an attack in a northern province near the Caspian Sea resulted in the shooting and death of a senior Shiite cleric in Iran on Wednesday.
According to official media, an assailant killed Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani in Babolsar in the Iranian province of Mazandaran. Later, according to state TV, police captured the attacker.
Several hours after the attack, confusion continued. According to state television, Soleimani was in a bank in the city when another guy took possession of a guard’s gun and started shooting after getting into a personal spat with an employee, killing the cleric.
Later, according to State TV, the guard fired first.
It was not possible to instantly reconcile the disparate accounts. The Interior Ministry declared that a special probe into the cleric’s murder would be opened.
The 88-member Assembly of Experts, which picks and supervises Iran’s supreme leader, included Soleimani, age 78. Additionally, he once served as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s delegate to Iran’s unrest-ridden Sistan and Baluchestan provinces.