The assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was carried out by a highly trained hit squad of 62 people — pouncing in six vehicles after the local power supply was cut, according to local reports.
The killers — who Iranian officials have insisted were sent by Israel — included a team of 50 giving “logistical support” to the dirty dozen who carried out the actual ambush Friday, sources told leading Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze.
All involved had “entered special training courses, as well as security and intelligence services abroad,” Ahwaze tweeted, as translated by ELINT News.
“The team knew exactly the date and course of the movement of the Fakhrizadeh protection convoy in the smallest details,” Ahwaze’s sources told him, allowing them to cut the scientist off as he went to his private villa in Absard.
Shortly before Fakhrizadeh drove through their ambush site, the team “cut off the electricity completely from this area” to slow reports of their assassination and any calls for help, the reporter said.
Fakhrizadeh was traveling in the middle of three bulletproof cars, with the killers striking after the first car entered a roundabout, the report said.
A booby-trapped Nissan was then detonated to block the car behind Fakhrizadeh — as 12 gunmen pounced on him, arriving in a Hyundai Santa Fe and four motorbikes, Ahwaze tweeted.
“After the car bomb was detonated, 12 operatives opened fire towards Fakhrizadeh’s car and the first protection vehicle,” his thread said.
“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.”
None of the hit squad were wounded or arrested during the gunbattle with the Iranian’s bodyguards, Ahwaze said.
Friday’s hit has dramatically escalated tensions between Iran and Israel, which was quickly accused of ordering the hit.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “definitive punishment of the perpetrators and those who ordered it.”
He called Fakhrizadeh “the country’s prominent and distinguished nuclear and defensive scientist,” and analysts have compared him to being on a par with Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led the U.S.′ Manhattan Project in World War II that created the atom bomb.
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