Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Was Killed by Remote-controlled Machine Gun, Report Says

Iranian Fars News Agency reports that shots that killed Mohsen Fakhrizadeh came from a weapon mounted on a deserted vehicle which exploded shortly after the attack

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the damaged car of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh after it was attacked near the capital Tehran,  November 27, 2020
the damaged car of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh after it was attacked near the capital Tehran, November 27, 2020Credit: - - AFP

The Iranian Fars News Agency published new details on the killing of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which has been attributed to Israel, claiming that he was assassinated by a remote-controlled machine gun that was detonated after the attack.

According to the report, Fakhrizadeh was driving with his wife in a bullet-proof vehicle on Friday morning, accompanied by a convoy of armored cars.

At some point, the convoy drove ahead of Fakhrizadeh in order to secure the location he was headed to. Gunfire was heard, leading Fakhrizadeh to pull over by the side of the road, as he thought the car had malfunctioned. Shots were than fired from a remote-controlled machine gun that was mounted on a Nissan car stationed some 150 meters away. One of the bullets hit Fakhrizadeh in the back, the report said, adding that the car had exploded several minutes later.

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"The entire incident lasted three minutes, as no assassin was present at the scene, and because the shots were fired only by automated weapons," the report said. The owner of the vehicle which bore the weapon, the report said, was no longer residing in Iran.

The New York Times published an account of the incident that diverges from the Fars report, although it cites Iranian media.

According to the Times, the abandoned Nissan, parked at a roundabout, detonated and toppled a power line. A squad of 12 gunmen then emerged at the scene, some on motorcycles and other from cars parked nearby and opened fire, according to an account by Javad Mogouyi, a filmmaker who works for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. At least three shots hit Fakhrizadeh, Mogouyi said, adding that all 12 assassins escaped the scene unscathed.  

Iranian state media earlier on Sunday reported that Fakhrizadeh's funeral procession got underway. His coffin will be moved between several mosques across the country, and Fakhrizadeh is expected to be interred on Monday.

According to Iran's state news agency IRNA, Fakhrizadeh’s body was transferred last night to the the shrine of Imam Reza in the northeastern city of Mashhad. His body will later be transferred to the city of Qom, south of Tehran, and from there to the Imam Khomeini shrine in the capital Tehran.

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