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Iran: 50 killed in stampede at Soleimani’s funeral

January 7, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Thousands of people attend the funeral ceremony of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Forces, who was killed in a U.S. drone airstrike in Iraq, in Tehran, Iran on January 06, 2019 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

At least 50 mourners were killed and 213 others injured in a stampede during the funeral of Quds Forces Commander Qassem Soleimani in Iran, according to local television.

The stampede occurred as thousands of mourners gathered during Soleimani’s funeral procession in his hometown of Kerman.

Following the incident, Iranian authorities decided to postpone the burial to a “more appropriate date”, the semi-official ISNA said.

Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq on Friday.

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His death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the US and Iran, which began in 2018 after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact signed with the P5+1 world powers and Tehran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who last year gave Soleimani the country’s highest honour, vowed “severe retaliation” in response to his killing.

The Pentagon accused Soleimani of plotting an earlier embassy attack in Iraq and planning to carry out attacks on US diplomats and service members in Iraq and the region.