Blasts kill more than 100 at slain commander Soleimani’s memorial

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Iranian media reports say two separate explosions left at least 103 people killed and 211 injured in the Iranian city of Kerman on January 3.

IRNA says the first blast took place 700 meters away from Martyr General Qassem Soleimani’s tomb and the second explosion happened one kilometer away from it.

Numerous people were taking part in the fourth martyrdom anniversary of General Soleimani in his city of Kerman when the blasts occurred.

The explosions dispersed mourners from Kerman’s cemetery and ambulances rushed to deliver the injured to hospitals in the city.

Reza Fallah, head of the Kerman province Red Crescent, told IRNA that some 141 injured people have been delivered to hospitals so far.

Fallah also said that a loud explosion was heard, and officials are examining the cause of the blast.

IRNA says Supreme Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi have vowed swift punishment for those behind Kerman terror attacks.

Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly said that the perpetrators will definitely be the target of a just punishment, and will receive a hard response for the tragedy they caused.

In a message offering condolences to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian nation, and families of the victims, President Raisi tasked relevant authorities to take swift measures to attend to those affected by the terrorist attack and restore order to Kerman.

No one claimed responsibility for the blasts.  Meanwhile Reuters reported yesterday that a senior Biden administration official said in Washington that the blasts appeared to represent “a terrorist attack” of the type carried out in the past by Islamic State militants. 

In 2022, the Sunni Muslim terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a Shi’ite shrine in Iran which killed 15 people.

Earlier attacks claimed by the group include deadly twin bombings in 2017 which targeted Iran’s parliament and the tomb of the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  

Several countries, including Russia, Turkey and the European Union (EU), condemned the attacks, and the U.N. Secretary-General called for those responsible to be held accountable.

Source: Asia Plus