Creating new perspectives since 2009

Over 100 killed in 'terrorist attacks' near Iranian commander Soleimani's tomb

January 3, 2024 at 4:13 pm

A view of the scene after explosions leaving over 100 dead in explosions near slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s tomb, in Kerman City, Iran on January 03, 2024 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

More than 100 people have been killed after two explosions caused by “terrorist attacks” struck during a ceremony in Iran to commemorate commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike in 2020, Reuters reported Iranian officials saying today.

Iranian state television reported a first and then a second blast during an anniversary event at the cemetery where Soleimani is buried in the southeastern city of Kerman.

An unnamed official told the state news agency IRNA: “Two explosive devices planted along the road leading to Kerman’s Martyrs’ Cemetery were detonated remotely by terrorists.”

Babak Yektaparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s emergency services, was reported as saying 73 people had been killed and 170 injured. State television said later that at least 100 people had been killed.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Videos aired by Iranian media showed dozens of bodies strewn around with some bystanders trying to attend to survivors and others hurrying to leave the blast area.

READ: Iran deploys warship in Red Sea

“A terrible sound was heard there, despite all the security and safety measures. We are still investigating,” Reza Fallah, head of the Kerman Red Crescent Society, told state television.

Red Crescent rescuers tended to wounded people at the ceremony, where hundreds of Iranians had gathered to mark the anniversary of Soleimani’s death. Some Iranian news agencies said the number of wounded people was much higher.

“We are now evacuating the wounded and injured in the area. The crowd is huge and the job is quite hard. All the paths to there are blocked,” Fallah said.

The US assassination of Soleimani in a drone attack at Baghdad airport in 2020.

As chief commander of the elite Quds force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Soleimani ran clandestine operations in foreign countries and was a key figure in Iran’s long-standing campaign to drive US forces out of the Middle East.

READ: Gazans turn to the sea for hygiene amid war