Devastating Explosions at Ceremony for Iranian General Soleimani Lead to 81 Deaths

Written by Jeppe W

Jan.03 - 2024 3:58 PM CET


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A solemn commemoration in Iran for the late General Qassem Soleimani turned tragic as explosions resulted in 73 deaths and 170 injuries. The ceremony, held on Wednesday, marked the four-year anniversary of Soleimani's death in an American drone strike in 2020. The explosions occurred near his gravesite in Kerman, where a large crowd had gathered to honor the former leader of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force.

Iranian officials, as reported by Reuters and various state media, described the incident as a "terror attack." However, there are conflicting reports regarding the cause of the explosions. The semi-official Nournews attributed the blasts to the explosion of several gas cylinders located near the road leading to the gravesite. In contrast, Tasnim news agency, citing anonymous sources, reported that bombs were detonated at the scene, suggesting they were remotely controlled.

Rescue workers from the Red Crescent were seen tending to the injured in images broadcasted by state television. Reza Fallah, head of the Red Crescent in Kerman province, highlighted the challenges faced by the rescue teams due to the massive crowds obstructing the roads.

The drone attack that killed General Soleimani near Baghdad's airport on January 3, 2020, was carried out on the orders of then-U.S. President Donald Trump. Soleimani was a highly influential military figure in Iran, and his funeral attracted millions of Iranians into the streets.

Kerman, located in central Iran, is a city with about half a million inhabitants. The incident has reignited concerns about security and stability in the region.

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