The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on Thursday claimed responsibility for two explosions in the Iranian city of Kerman that killed nearly 100 people and wounded scores at a memorial for top commander Qassem Soleimani.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported yesterday afternoon that “the Daesh (Daesh is the acronym for the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attacks in Iran’s southeastern city of Kerman that left 84 people dead.”
Citing Reuters, IRNA says, “The Takfiri group issued a statement on Thursday night, claiming responsibility for the explosions that also left 284 people, including children, injured.”
Reuters reports that in a statement posted on its affiliate Telegram channels, the IS terrorist group said two IS members had detonated explosive belts in the crowd that had gathered at the cemetery in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman on Wednesday.
The memorial was marking the fourth anniversary of the death of Qassem Soleimani, one of the most powerful military commanders in Iran, who was assassinated by a U.S. drone in Iraq on January 3, 2020.
Soleimani was buried in his hometown of Kerman after a funeral that drew millions of mourners across Iran.
Reuters reports that in Washington, White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters the United States was in no position to doubt Islamic State’s claim that it was responsible for Wednesday’s attack.
Earlier, IRNA citing an informed source reported that surveillance camera footage and other evidence around the first blast pointed to a suicidal attack. The second blast, still under probe, was “most probably” also a suicide attack, said the source.
According to IRNA, the first blast was about 700 meters from the tomb and the second was a kilometer away. Rahman Jalali, the deputy governor of Kerman province for political and security affairs, told the agency the explosions were carried out by terrorists.
The IS terrorist has attacked civilians and security forces in Iran on a number of occasions in recent years.
According to the BBC, it welcomed the 2020 death of General Soleimani, whose militias fought against this Sunni Muslim terrorist group in Iraq for years.
In 2022, the IS terrorist group 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.
Source: Asia Plus