Iran lays to rest victims of IS twin bombings
Suicide bombings struck crowds in the southern city, where many had gathered on Wednesday to commemorate slain general Qasem Soleimani.
A man holds a portrait of slain Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani on January 5, 2024 in the Iranian capital Tehran, during the funeral of Faezeh Rahimi, one of the victims killed in the southen Iranian city of Kerman on January 3 in twin blasts during a commemmoration marking the anniversary of the 2020 killing of the Revolutionary Guards general. – Iran was hit on January 3 by one of the deadliest attacks since its 1979 Islamic revolution, with twin blasts killing at least 84 people gathered to commemorate Soleimani. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was in Kerman on Friday, joining mourners for the funerals of the 85 people killed in twin blasts claimed by the Islamic State group, state media said.
Suicide bombings struck crowds in the southern city, where many had gathered on Wednesday to commemorate slain Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Qasem Soleimani, on the fourth anniversary of his death in a US drone strike.
The attack killed 85 people, state TV said, revising up an earlier toll following the death of one of the wounded.
The victims include “44 women and children” and at least a dozen Afghan nationals, it said.
“The funeral for the martyrs of the terrorist attack will take place at 10am am (6.30am GMT) at the Emam Ali mosque in the city of Kerman,” state TV reported.
President Raisi was in Kerman on Friday “to attend the funerals and commemorate the martyrs” after also visiting Soleimani’s grave, the report said.
Iranian news agency Tasnim earlier reported that the dead will be buried in private funerals organised by their families, citing the governor of Kerman.
Iranian authorities called for mass rallies after the funerals and Friday prayers to protest the bombings.
In a statement published Thursday on Telegram, the Islamic State group said two of its members “activated their explosives vests” at the gathering.
Iranian investigators had already confirmed that the first blast at least was the work of a “suicide bomber” and believed the trigger for the second was “very probably another suicide bomber”, official news agency IRNA had reported earlier, citing an “informed source”.
A staunch enemy of the jihadist group, Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm, overseeing military operations across the Middle East.
© Agence France-Presse