Chaos Erupts After Horrifying Explosions in Iran

Chaos Erupts After Horrifying Explosions in Iran

( – A US drone strike in Iraq killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in 2020. Wednesday, January 3, marked the fourth anniversary of his death. As thousands gathered in the Iranian city of Kerman to commemorate his passing, two devastating blasts rocked the area, killing many people and injuring more than 200 in horrifying scenes. Reports have provided inconsistent accounts of the number of victims killed, but most news outlets have reported nearly or over 100 dead.

Ahead of the blasts that rocked the streets, Iranian state-run television showed thousands gathered to pay their respects to the fallen military officer, commander of the Quds forces. Yet, the scene was entirely different after the explosions, where videos showed people running away from the scene while medical staff ran into the crowds.

Initially, Mohammad Jamshidi, political deputy of President Ebrahim Raisi, placed the blame on Israel and the United States. Washington categorically denied any involvement in the attack. Instead, State Department sources noted there was no indication of Israel’s participation, saying it looked much like the terrorist attacks insurgent groups such as ISIS carried out regularly. That was Washington’s “going assumption” at the time.

In fact, the Islamic State did later claim responsibility for the attack, posting in its Telegram channels. The first bomb detonated around 3 p.m. local time, just outside the Garden of Martyrs cemetery. The second blast came approximately 15 minutes later, targeting the people who were fleeing from the first detonation. While IS claimed responsibility, it’s unclear whether operatives detonated the bombs remotely or if suicide attackers infiltrated the crowds because reports about the attacks were inconsistent. DPA reported on January 5 that multiple suspects were arrested in connection to the incident.

According to Reuters, Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s First Vice President, said the “soldiers of Soleimani” would be facing “a very strong retaliation” for the attacks. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the “tragedy will be met with a strong response.”

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack, according to The BBC, sending his regards to “the bereaved families and the [Iranian] people and the government.”

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