In a tragic incident, more than 100 people lost their lives in twin blasts during a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the death of Iranian top commander Qassem Soleimani. The event took place at the cemetery where Soleimani is buried in the southeastern city of Kerman. Iranian state television reported the explosions, labeling them as “terrorist attacks.”
The explosions occurred consecutively during the anniversary event, with the first and then a second blast rocking the Martyrs’ Cemetery. According to an unnamed official quoted by the state news agency IRNA, “Two explosive devices planted along the road leading to Kerman’s Martyrs’ Cemetery were detonated remotely by terrorists.”
Babak Yektaparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s emergency services, reported that 73 people were killed, and 170 others sustained injuries. However, state television later raised the death toll to at least 100. The exact number of casualties remains uncertain, with conflicting reports from various sources.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks at this time.
Disturbing videos aired by Iranian media depict the aftermath of the explosions, showing numerous bodies scattered around. Bystanders are seen attempting to assist survivors, while others rush to evacuate the blast area. The Kerman Red Crescent Society’s head, Reza Fallah, stated, “A terrible sound was heard there, despite all the security and safety measures. We are still investigating.”
Red Crescent rescuers were on the scene tending to the wounded, navigating the challenges of the massive crowd that had gathered for the ceremony. Some reports suggest a higher number of wounded individuals than officially stated.
The ceremony aimed to mark the anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s death, a significant figure in Iran. Soleimani, as the chief commander of the elite Quds force, played a crucial role in Iran’s operations abroad and was instrumental in the country’s efforts to counter the presence of US forces in the Middle East.
The assassination of Soleimani by a US drone in 2020 escalated tensions between the United States and Iran. Tehran retaliated by attacking two military bases housing US troops in Iraq, bringing the two nations to the brink of a full-blown conflict.
As investigations into the twin blasts continue, there is no indication of foreign involvement. The explosions add to the ongoing geopolitical tensions in the region, including strained relations between Iran and Israel, heightened by recent events in Gaza and attacks on ships in the Red Sea linked to Israel. The situation underscores the delicate balance in the Middle East and the challenges posed by regional conflicts.
For more updates stay tuned to FELA News