Over 100 killed as terror attack strikes Iran near Soleimani’s tomb

The Cradle, January 3, 2024 —

The horrific attack comes one day after Israel assassinated a top Hamas leader in Beirut.

Two remote detonated bombs killed at least 103 people and wounded dozens in Iran on 3 January, the anniversary of the assassination of famed military commander Qassem Soleimani, Iranian media reported.

The dual explosions took place in Kerman, Soleimani’s home province, during a ceremony near the cemetery where he was buried. Hundreds had gathered there to commemorate his death in a US drone strike on the airport road in Baghdad in 2020.

According to the correspondent for Tasnim News, the bombs detonated at different locations and minutes apart, while a large number of ambulances arrived at the places of the explosions to evacuate the wounded.

“The blasts were caused by terrorist attacks,” state media IRNA quoted a local official in the Kerman province as saying.

The first explosion was 700 meters away from Soleimani’s grave, and the second was one kilometer (0.6 miles) away as religious pilgrims visited the site, IRNA added.

The semi-official Nour News had said earlier that several gas canisters exploded on the road leading to the cemetery.

Israel is widely suspected to be behind the attack, which comes one day after Israel assassinated top Hamas leader and military commander Saleh al-Arouri in the Dahiyeh suburb of Beirut on 2 January.

Six additional Hamas commanders and political leaders were killed in the drone strike which targeted Hamas offices. The strike is viewed as a major escalation in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, which until now has been limited to the towns near the southern Lebanese border and northern Israeli settlements.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah will give a speech this evening that will be widely observed for clues as to how the Lebanese resistance movement may respond.

Before his death, Qassem Soleimani was widely respected, in particular for his role in defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria in cooperation with the Syrian army and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and for spearheading the regional resistance to Israel.

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