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A man in Iran guns down 12 relatives in a shooting rampage with a Kalashnikov rifle

TEHRAN, Iran — A 30-year-old man gunned down 12 of his relatives Saturday in a remote rural area in southeast Iran, the deadliest shooting reported in decades.

Head of the justice department of the province of Kerman, Ebrahim Hamidi, told the semiofficial ISNA news agency the gunman opened fire on his father, brother and other relatives early morning in a village because of family disputes.

The report, which did not identify the assailant, stated he used a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

Local media report on occasional shootings, but this attack has had the highest death toll in Iran, where citizens are only legally allowed hunting rifles, common in rural areas.

In 2022, an employee, who was dismissed from a state-owned financial conglomerate, opened fire at his former workplace, killing three people and injuring another five before killing himself in the country’s west. In 2016, a 26-year-old man shot 10 relatives in a rural area in the south of Iran.

In recent years, violence has spiked in the country suffering from deteriorating economic conditions coupled with crushing American sanctions that helped spark soaring inflation and increasing unemployment.

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