More Than 100 Killed In Explosions Near Tomb Of Slain Iranian General

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Iran blast Iranian general

At least 103 people have been killed by two bomb explosions near the tomb of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on the fourth anniversary of his assassination by the US according to media reports.

Iranian State broadcaster Irib said that dozens of others were wounded when the blasts hit a procession near the Saheb al-Zaman mosque in the southern city of Kerman.

Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike on this day in 2020

RT reports: The blasts occurred close to the grave site of the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, Iranian media reports said. Mohammad Saberi, who leads Kerman’s emergency rescue services, initially told state media that 20 people had been killed in the explosions and a further 20 had been injured, Al Jazeera reported.

Iranian media has since reported that 103 people have died, while 141 were injured. These figures are likely to rise in the coming hours. The agency also noted that officials at the scene have described the incident as a terrorist attack, and that two bags containing bombs are thought to have exploded in the crowded area after being detonated remotely.

Video footage of the aftermath of the incident circulating on social media shows injured people at the scene being attended to by medics and being removed on stretchers.

“Our rapid response teams are evacuating the injured,” Reza Fallah, head of Kerman’s Red Crescent humanitarian group, told Iranian television, according to Al Jazeera. He added that rescue operations were hampered by “waves of crowds blocking roads.”

Soleimani, a revered figure in Iran, was killed in a US drone strike authorized by former US President Donald Trump in Baghdad, Iraq on January 3, 2020. Trump later said that he had ordered the US military operation in response to intelligence that claimed that Soleimani was planning an “imminent” attack on US forces in the Iraqi capital.

The incident in Kerman comes one day after a senior Hamas figure, Saleh al-Arouri, was killed in a drone strike in Lebanon. Iran condemned the attack, saying that it could potentially “ignite another surge in the veins of resistance and the motivation to fight against the Zionist occupiers.”

The explosions are reported to have been separated by periods of about ten to 15 minutes. The first occurred about 700 meters (less than half a mile) from Soleimani’s tomb at the Golzar Shohada cemetery in Kerman. The second was about a kilometer (0.6 miles) away, the Guardian said.

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