'At least 103 killed' in explosions near tomb of Iranian Guards commander Qassem Soleimani during ceremony

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Iranian state media reported two explosions in the city of Kerman, where the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander is buried.

Iranian state media reported two explosions in the city of Kerman, where the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander is buried.

 

'At least 103 killed' in explosions near tomb of Iranian Guards commander Qassem Soleimani during ceremony

An explosion at a cemetery where a ceremony was being held to mark the 2020 assassination of Iran's top commander has killed more than 100 people.

 

According to Iranian state media, there were two explosions at the site in the city of Kerman where the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani is buried.

 

Kerman's mayor, Saeed Tabrizi, told Iran's state-run ISNA news agency that the blasts took place about 10 minutes apart.

 

Local media reports suggest more than 140 people were injured.

 

Kerman's deputy governor Rahman Jalali described the blasts as "terroristic attacks" - without elaborating on who could be behind them.

 

Iran's Tasnim news agency, quoting two unnamed sources, reported that "two bags carrying bombs went off" at the site and that the "perpetrators ... of this incident apparently detonated the bombs by remote control".

 

Tehran has enemies both internally and externally.

 

Israel has in the past been accused of carrying out drone strikes on Iranian military facilities, while Sunni extremist groups such as Islamic State have carried out bombings, often on civilian targets, in the majority Shia nation.

 

Soleimani, once Iran's top military general, was assassinated in a US drone strike during a visit to Iraq in 2020 to meet then prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

 

The drone strike caused a major diplomatic crisis between the US and Iran, leading to retaliatory rocket strikes against US military sites in Iraq and pushing the two countries to the brink of war.

 

More than a million people took to the streets for Soleimani's funeral - leading to a stampede in which 56 mourners were killed.

 

Having served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Soleimani became one of the country's top commanders.

 

A national hero to supporters of Iran's theocratic regime, he was often touted as the country's second most powerful figure, behind only Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

 

He was the commander of the Quds Force - a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Cops responsible for spying and military operations outside of Iran.

 

Thousands have turned out for the funeral of Maj Gen Soleimani

Image: More than a million people took to the streets for the funeral (pictured) of Soleimani following his assassination in 2020

The group was deemed a terrorist organisation by the US.

 

They claimed Soleimani oversaw Quds Force officers as they tried and failed to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US Adel al Jubeir at the upscale Cafe Milano in Washington in 2011.

 

Soleimani was also regarded as the mastermind of Iran's military operations in Iraq and Syria and influential in the development of the so-called "Axis of Resistance" - categorised as the "Axis of Evil" by Western officials - involving Iran and Iranian-backed militias including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza.


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CRN News - Breaking News: 'At least 103 killed' in explosions near tomb of Iranian Guards commander Qassem Soleimani during ceremony
'At least 103 killed' in explosions near tomb of Iranian Guards commander Qassem Soleimani during ceremony
Iranian state media reported two explosions in the city of Kerman, where the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander is buried.
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