173 killed, nearly 200 injured in blast near grave of General Qasem Soleimani in Iran

Qasem Soleimani.

Two explosions during an event commemorating the 2020 killing of General Qasem Soleimani in Iran’s Kerman have resulted in a tragic toll of at least 73 people killed and 170 others injured.

The blasts occurred in proximity to Soleimani’s grave site, situated in Kerman, approximately 820 kilometers southeast of Tehran.

Rahman Jalali, the deputy governor of Kerman province where Soleimani is buried, characterized the incident as a “terrorist attack.”

This unfortunate event unfolded against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Middle East, with the recent killing of Hamas number two, Saleh al-Aruri – an ally of Iran, in a Beirut drone strike. Lebanese officials attributed the strike to Israel.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, citing informed sources, “two bags carrying bombs went off” at the site, with the perpetrators seemingly triggering the bombs remotely.

The ISNA news agency quoted Kerman mayor Saeed Tabrizi, stating that the bombs exploded 10 minutes apart.

Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January 2020, an incident that sparked large processions.

During Soleimani’s funeral in 2020, a stampede occurred, resulting in at least 56 deaths and over 200 injuries as thousands gathered for the procession.

Declared a “living martyr” by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while alive, Soleimani was highly regarded for his pivotal role in defeating the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

In the eyes of many Iranians, Soleimani’s military and strategic prowess played a crucial role in preventing the multi-ethnic disintegration of neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

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