Iranian state media is reporting that more than 100 people are dead following explosions from “remote control” operated bombs.
At least two explosions coming minutes apart have been reported in southern Iran where a memorial event was being held at the cemetery where Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani is buried. Officials claimed terrorists were behind the attack though, as of this writing, no one had claimed responsibility.
“Two explosions rocked a memorial event for Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killing more than 100 people and injuring at least 140, state media in Iran reported Wednesday,” NBC News reported. Those numbers are expected to rise as victims are tended to.
“The first blast struck around 2,300 feet from Soleimani’s grave in the Kerman Martyrs Cemetery in southern Iran, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported. It added that the second explosion was around 2,000 feet away,” the outlet added.
The Tasnim news agency reported that suitcases loaded with bombs were the cause of the blasts, noting that “two bags carrying bombs went off” and that those responsible “apparently detonated the bombs by remote control.”
Rahman Jalali, the deputy governor of Kerman province, told state-run IRNA that the attack had been “carried out by terrorists” but offered no evidence to back the claim.
BREAKING: IRAN TERRORIST ATTACK DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 211 pic.twitter.com/UFA4T8gx6i
— Sulaiman Ahmed (@ShaykhSulaiman) January 3, 2024
The blasts put Iran in a defensive position, with the Islamic nation being well-known as s sponsor of terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Wednesday’s memorial ceremony marked the fourth anniversary of the death of Soleimani. The former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was killed in January 2020 by a US drone strike.
The explosions came just a day after the death of Hamas’s deputy leader Saleh al Arouri who was killed in an explosion in Beirut.
Sky News reported that “Izzat al Rishq, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, has said al Arouri was killed in a ‘cowardly assassination’ by Israel – and warned such attacks ‘will not succeed in breaking the will and steadfastness of our people, or undermining the continuation of their valiant resistance.'”
Many of the victims died in the second blast, according to Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi who vowed that Iranian authorities will act “quickly and forcefully” in response.
“Our police forces are vigilant and will bring those who committed this crime to justice,” he declared on state television.
In a statement, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also slammed the attack.
“Undoubtedly, the perpetrators…of this cowardly act will soon be identified and punished for their heinous act by the capable security and law enforcement forces,” he said in a statement.”The enemies of the nation should know that such actions can never disrupt the solid determination of the Iranian nation.”
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