The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh involved a hit squad consisting of 62 people, a report has claimed.
The scientist was killed in a strategic attack while travelling by car in Absard, Damavand, Iran, near the capital Tehran, on Friday.
Mr Fakhrizadeh was 61 when he was shot dead by gunmen – who also detonated a bomb in a vehicle in order to bring his car to a stop.
Reports have suggested that as many as 62 people were involved in the hit – split into six vehicles to chase down the scientist and kill him.
Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze has suggested 50 operatives provided “logistical support” for the strike, while a further 12 were on the ground for the mission.
The New York Post reports Mr Ahwaze claimed that the hit squad had: “entered special training courses, as well as security and intelligence services abroad.
“The team knew exactly the date and course of the movement of the Fakhrizadeh protection convoy in the smallest details.”
Mr Ahwaze went on to claim that power in the area of the attack zone was cut to hinder rescue efforts and to slow down reports of the assassination and to slow calls for help being raised.
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Earlier reports have suggested a Nissan packed with explosives had been detonated in the path of Mr Fakhrizadeh’s convoy – with armed gunmen then emerging while the cars were stopped in order to open fire.
Mr Ahwaze claimed: “After the car bomb was detonated, 12 operatives opened fire towards Fakhrizadeh’s car and the first protection vehicle.
“According to Iranian leaks, the leader of the assassination team took Fakhrizadeh out of his car and shot him and made sure he was killed.”
It is claimed the entire strike force escaped unharmed following the attack – and as yet no organisation or nation has claimed responsibility for the assassination.
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Tensions in the Middle East have escalated in light of the strike.
Iranian authorities have pointed the finger of blame at Israel – and have also alluded to American President Donald Trump being involved in the attack – since the incident.
While for years there has been growing concern that Iran has been working to develop nuclear weapons – prompting intense sanctions from the USA since 2018.
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