September 29, 2018 / 12:44 PM / 2 months ago

Iran MP criticises security personnel over military parade attack

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows an attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran, in this September 22, 2018 photo by ISNA. ISNA/Iranian Students' News Agency/Social Media/via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - A senior Iranian parliamentarian on Saturday criticised security personnel for failing to act decisively to stop a shooting attack that killed 25 people at a military parade last weekend, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament’s national security committee, said government video footage showed snipers who were posted to protect the event had hesitated to intervene even after being ordered to shoot.

“There were eight or nine sharpshooters who could have killed the terrorists within 30 seconds ... but one of them couldn’t believe there was a terrorist attack and thought blanks were fired, and said he had received no order to shoot,” Falahatpisheh said, referring to the video that was shown to his commission, ISNA reported.

“He fails to shoot even after being ordered,” Falahatpisheh said, describing the events as shown in the video which he said was produced by the army and the Intelligence Ministry.

Iran accused Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of funding the five gunmen who attacked the military parade in southwestern Iran last Saturday.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have denied any involvement in the attack, almost half of whose victims belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. It was one of the worst assaults ever against the country’s most powerful military force.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Helen Popper

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