103 Reported Killed in Iran in Blasts Near General’s Tomb
Explosions at a commemoration for Qassim Suleimani resulted in the deaths of at least 103 people, raising concerns of a wider regional conflict.
Explosions at Commemoration for Qassim Suleimani
Two explosions occurred during a commemoration for Iran's former top general, Qassim Suleimani, resulting in the deaths of at least 103 people and the injury of 171 others. The bombings took place on the four-year anniversary of General Suleimani's assassination by a U.S. drone strike. The incident has shaken Iran, which has been dealing with growing divisions between its hard-line government and the general population for over a year.
The explosions come in the midst of Israel's ongoing war in Gaza and a day after an explosion killed several Hamas officials in Lebanon. This has raised concerns of a widening regional conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle East.
Details of the Blasts
According to Iranian officials, two bombs were placed in bags along the road leading to the cemetery in the city of Kerman. The explosions occurred as a large procession of people was making their way to the cemetery to commemorate General Suleimani's assassination. It is believed that the bags were detonated remotely, causing severe damage and leaving bodies in pieces on the ground. Given the scale of the blasts, the death toll is expected to rise.
Videos and photos of the aftermath showed widespread destruction, chaos, and injured individuals, including children. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condemned the attack and blamed Iran's enemies without specifically naming any group or country. President Ebrahim Raisi pointed towards the United States and Israel as the culprits behind the attack.
Possible Perpetrators and Response
While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, analysts suggest several possibilities for the perpetrators. These include Sunni Muslim terrorist organizations like the Islamic State or Iranian separatist groups that have targeted Iranian civilians in the past. However, it is still too early to determine who was behind the incident.
The attack is seen as bearing the hallmarks of terrorism, as it targeted ordinary civilians. Typically, Israel has employed precision strikes against specific individuals or facilities in Iran, rather than launching attacks that harm civilians directly. Investigations are underway to identify the responsible party, and Iran has declared a national day of mourning while urging the public to donate blood for the injured.