At least 103 killed, 211 injured in 2 blasts near late Iranian commander's burial site-UPDATED-5

At least 103 killed, 211 injured in 2 blasts near late Iranian commander
# 03 January 2024 20:46 (UTC +04:00)

103 people were killed and 211 others injured on Wednesday in two blasts near the burial ground of Iran's late commander Qassem Soleimani in the southwestern province of Kerman, APA reports citing Tasnim News Agency.

*** 18:17

Two explosions near the burial site of Iran's slain general Qassem Soleimani killed at least 103 people and wounded over 170 others on Wednesday, reported the official IRNA news agency and the semi-official Fars news agency, calling it "terrorist" attacks, APA reports.

The blasts occurred as many people gathered at the cemetery in Iran's southeastern city of Kerman to mark the fourth anniversary of Soleimani's death in a U.S. drone strike.

The first blast was about 700 meters from Soleimani's tomb and the second was a kilometer away, IRNA said.

Rahman Jalali, the deputy governor of Kerman province for political and security affairs, said the explosions were carried out by "terrorists," the IRNA reported.

Babak Yektaparast, a spokesman for Iran's National Medical Emergency Organization, told the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) that some of the injured were in critical condition and the death toll could rise.

The IRINN said the cause of the blasts was still under investigation and that rescue teams were at the scene. It added that most of the injuries were caused by overcrowding and panic.

Soleimani, one of the most powerful military commanders in Iran, was killed on Jan. 3, 2020, near Baghdad's international airport in a drone strike ordered by then-President Donald Trump.

He was buried in his hometown of Kerman after a funeral that drew millions of mourners across Iran. Iran denounced the assassination as "state terrorism" and vowed revenge.

*** 17:13

At least 73 people were killed and 173 others injured on Wednesday in two blasts near the burial ground of Iran's late commander Qassem Soleimani in the southwestern province of Kerman, reported the semi-official Fars news agency citing Iran's Emergency organization.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), the blasts occurred in an underpass one kilometer away from the burial ground, with the first one heard at 15:04 local time (1134 GMT) and the second one a few minutes later at 15:17, as people were paying homage to the late commander on his fourth assassination anniversary, the IRINN added.

According to the report, the cause of the blasts has not been determined yet, and rescue teams have been sent to the scene.

It added most of the injuries had been sustained due to overcrowding and people's panicking.

On Jan. 3, 2020, the U.S. military assassinated Soleimani in a drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport.

***

Iran revealed that 20 people were killed and 50 others were injured in two blasts near the Qassem Soleimani's cemetery in Kerman Province, APA reports citing Tasnimi.

*** 16:06

The Iranian TV reported on Wednesday an explosion near the road leading to the grave of Iranian military officer Qassem Soleimani in Kerman Province, APA reports citing ALBAWABA.

According to some media reports, the explosion took place due to the blast of gas cylinders near the road leading to the shrine of Soleimani.

Some Iranian sources reportedly said that the blast took place during a ceremony commemorating the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

It added that ambulances are moving towards the blast site. Kerman emergency manager announced that 15 were injured and were transferred to hospitals.

Qassem Soleimani, who served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in an American airstrike on Jan. 3, 2020.

Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were both killed in a US drone strike in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

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