Bomb blasts near Qasem Soleimani’s tomb leave 103 people killed in Iran

At least 103 people were killed and 141 others injured after two separate blasts occurred close to the tomb of former Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on the fourth anniversary of his death, officials said on Wednesday (January 4, 2024).

 Twin blasts in Iran leaves 103 killed. Photo Courtesy: Asgher Ali X page

He was killed by a US drone in 2020.

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

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

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi condemns

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi described the incident as ‘cowardly’.

“Undoubtedly, the perpetrators and masterminds of this cowardly act will soon be identified and brought to justice by the capable security and law enforcement forces,” President Raisi was quoted as saying in his message as quoted by IRNA.

“The enemies of the nation must know that such actions can never undermine the unwavering determination and will of the Iranian people to defend the Islamic ideals,” he said.

Iranian media videos showed dozens of bodies strewn around with some bystanders trying to attend to survivors and others hurrying to leave the blast area.

No group immediately took responsibility for the incident.

It is one of the deadliest attacks recorded in Iran in the past 42 years.

Qasem Soleimani

The US assassination of Soleimani in a drone attack at Baghdad airport in 2020 and Tehran’s retaliation by attacking two Iraq military bases that house American troops brought both countries close to full-blown conflict then.

Tensions between Iran and Israel, along with its ally the United States, have reached a new high over Israel’s war on Iranian-backed Hamas militants in Gaza in retaliation for their Oct 7 rampage through southern Israel.