TEHRAN: An Iranian cleric was stabbed Saturday during an apparent road rage incident in the holy city of Qom, state media said, days after the fatal shooting of a leading cleric.
After crashing and injuring two pedestrians, the driver jumped out of his car and attacked “one of the victims who was a cleric” with a knife, Qom police chief Amir Mokhtari said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.
The three, including the driver who had injured himself with the knife, were rushed to hospital, where the cleric remained in intensive care, Mokhtari said, adding the motive for the attack was unclear.
It comes days after Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani, member of the Assembly of Experts that selects Iran’s supreme leader, was shot dead at a bank in Babolsar city, in the northern province of Mazandaran.
The assailant was arrested and interrogated after Wednesday’s fatal shooting, officials said at the time, adding that it was not considered a “security or terrorist” incident.
Soleimani, 75, was previously a representative of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He had also been the imam who led the weekly Friday prayers in the cities of Kashan, in Isfahan province, and Zahedan in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
Under the constitution, the 88-strong Assembly of Experts is mandated with supervising, dismissing and electing the supreme leader.
Also on Wednesday, another cleric was targeted in a car-ramming in the capital, according to police who said the driver was being pursued by security forces.
No more details have been made available about the attack.