10:44 GMT18 January 2021
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    Nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who headed Iran's research and innovation centre, was assassinated on Friday in a gun and bomb attack in Absard, a town located some 175 km to the east of Tehran.

    The details of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, have been revealed by Iran's media.

    According to Tasnim news agency, the attack took place at 2:30 p.m., local time, in the town of Absard to the east of Tehran. The media quoted eyewitnesses who said that they heard an explosion, followed by a barrage of gunfire. 

    Fakhrizadeh was travelling in a car together with his bodyguards. A parked Nissan truck laden with explosives hidden under a load of wood reportedly blew up at the moment when Fakhrizadeh's car approached the area. The explosion forced Fakhrizadeh’s sedan to stop on the avenue, which is when five or six gunmen emerged from a nearby vehicle and opened fire on his car, the agency added. 

    Prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is seen in Iran, in this undated photo.
    © REUTERS / WANA NEWS AGENCY
    Prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is seen in Iran, in this undated photo.

    His relatives were with him at the time of the attack, however, it was not immediately clear if any of them were in the same vehicle, according to Tasnim. This information has not been so far officially confirmed.  

    Photos from the scene of the attack emerged online shortly after the assassination took place, showing a Nissan sedan with bullet holes in the windshield and a pool of blood on the road. 

    ​Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have blamed the attack on Israel. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei strongly condemned the killing of Fakhrizadeh, pledging that the perpetrators of the attack would be held accountable. The Israeli authorities have so far made no comment regarding Fakhrizadeh's murder. Meanwhile, the New York Times has suggested that Iran's top nuclear physicist had long been a target of the Mossad spy agency. 

    Earlier on Saturday, Israel's N12 News reported that Israeli embassies around the globe have increased their level of alert following statements made by top Iranian officials over Fakhrizadeh's assassination. 

    Tags:
    gunmen, scientists, nuclear, Iran
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