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Man in Iran guns down 12 family members with Kalashnikov assault rifle over dispute

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A 30-year-old man shot dead 12 of his relatives in a rural area of ​​southeastern Iran on Saturday, in one of the country’s deadliest mass shootings in decades.

Prosecutors in Kerman province said the gunman opened fire on his father, brother and other relatives over a family dispute.

Iranian mourners gather for funerals in Kerman province, where Saturday’s violence reportedly took place. (Amir Moradi/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images)

A report by the semi-official ISNA news agency did not identify the assailant, but said he used a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

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Although shooting incidents occur occasionally in Iran, Saturday’s attack was the country’s deadliest. In Iran, citizens can only legally own hunting rifles, which are common in rural areas.

In 2022, a fired employee from a state-run financial conglomerate opened fire at his former workplace, killing three people and wounding five more before committing suicide in the country’s west. In 2016, a 26-year-old man shot and killed 10 of his relatives in a rural area of ​​southern Iran.

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Violence has increased sharply in recent years as the country suffers from deteriorating economic conditions as well as crushing US sanctions that have caused soaring inflation and rising unemployment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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