One dead in twin attacks on Iran's parliament

Suicide bombers and gunmen stormed into Iran's parliament and targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini today, killing a security guard and wounding 12 other people in rare twin attacks, with the siege at the legislature still underway.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks or if they were coordinated. The unusual attacks in Iran prompted the Interior Ministry to call for an urgent security meeting, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

One of the attackers blew himself up inside the parliament building, where a session had been in progress, according to a statement carried by Iran's state TV. It quoted lawmaker Elias Hazrati as saying the attackers were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around the parliament. Shops in the area were shuttered, and gunfire could be heard.

Witnesses said the attackers were shooting from the fourth floor of the parliament building down at people in the streets below.

"I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realised people are hiding and lying down on the streets," Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building when the assailants stormed in, told The Associated Press. "With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley."

Police helicopters circled over the parliament building and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected.

The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that lawmakers and reporters were ordered to remain in place inside the chamber.

State TV reported four attackers are involved in the parliament attack, and said eight people were wounded.

Iran's official state broadcaster said a security guard was killed and four people wounded in the shrine attack.

It said one of the attackers at the shrine was killed by security guards and that a woman was arrested. It described the shrine attackers as "terrorists" and said one carried out a suicide bombing, without providing further details.

In addition to being lethal, the attack on the shrine of Khomeini is symbolically stunning. As Iran's first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.

An Associated Press reporter saw security forces, some uniformed and others in plainclothes, around the large and ornate shrine located just outside the capital.

Sunni extremists, including ISIS, despise Shiite-majority Iran and are at war with Tehran's proxies in Syria and Iraq. Iran has also come under attack in the past by Arab insurgents. No one immediately claimed today's attacks.



Theresa May vows to rip up human rights laws in the UK if they get in the way of tackling terrorism

Britons are about to vote in an election that was supposed to be dominated by Brexit. After two deadly attacks in as many weeks it has become a battle over security.

Following attacks in Manchester and London that killed 29 people, voters are anxiously aware of the threat the country faces from international terrorism, and demanding to know why authorities failed to apprehend suspects whose extremist leanings were well-known.

Prime Minister Theresa May said today that when Britons vote on Thursday (local time) with security on their minds, they should ask: "Who can they trust?"

The pledge by the UK Prime Minister comes amid more evidence that one of the London Bridge attackers slipped through the intelligence net. Source: 1 NEWS

When the campaign began, May must have been confident the answer would be her and the Conservatives, rather than the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who has opposed British military interventions and tougher anti-terrorism laws for decades.

But the attacks have raised awkward questions about May's own record in government. Opponents have lambasted her for cutting police numbers by 20,000 when she was interior minister between 2010 and 2016.

She also was responsible for security services that failed to keep tabs on Khuram Butt, one of three men who went on a vehicle-and-knife rampage around London Bridge on Saturday.

The 27-year-old was a very public Islamic radical who had appeared on a TV documentary titled "The Jihadis Next Door."

Scotland Yard's counterterrorism chief, Mark Rowley, said Butt was investigated by officers in 2015 but they found no evidence he was planning an attack and he was "prioritized in the lower echelons of our investigative work."

The London Bridge attack is the third in Britain this year, following a vehicle and knife rampage near Parliament in March, which killed five, and the May 22 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in which 22 people died.

Khuram Shazad Butt was a British citizen born in Pakistan and Rachid Redouane had claimed both Libyan and Moroccan nationality. Source: 1 NEWS

In every case, the attackers had come to authorities' attention but were not considered a major threat.

May insisted Tuesday that her government had "protected the counterterrorism policing budget," increased the number of armed police officers (after several years when it fell) and funded the intelligence services to hire 1,900 more staff.

She vowed to crack down on terrorism suspects if she wins the election - "and if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it."

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Raw: The moment a feisty 2.4m reef shark gashes spear fisherman's leg open

A spear fisherman lost "more than a litre of blood" after a feisty 2.4m shark brutally attacked the man's leg as he dived off the coast of Florida with friends. 

The moment the shark "came out of nowhere" and gashed the man's leg open, tearing "through the skin, fat tissue, muscle, muscle sheath" and his tibial artery, was caught on camera on Monday near Boca Chica off the Florida Keys. 

The unnamed spear fisherman posted the video to YouTube yesterday and has since had over 10,000 views. 

"He went at my dive buddy Justyn but immediately turned towards me," he wrote in the caption of the video.

"He first bit my left fin then took a chunk out of the right one before biting my leg and cutting the spear gun line.

"I assumed he was trying to steal the black grouper i was holding. But after I lost the grouper and watched it swim to the bottom, the shark kept coming at us!"

Another swimmer helped the man back to the boat after firing a spear gun into the shark.

"This clearly could have been much worse! Happy to still have my leg even with a piece missing!"