IRAN – At least 103 people have been killed and 170 wounded after two explosions rocked a ceremony that was being held to mark the assassination of Iran’s top commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone attack in 2020.
Is it a terrorist attack?
The blasts occurred yesterday, January 3, close to the Saheb al-Zaman Mosque where Soleimani is buried in what Iran has described as a ‘terrorist attack’.
The first explosion was followed by a second close to a cemetery in the southeastern city of Kerman where thousands had gathered to mark the four-year anniversary of Soleimani’s killing.
Day of mourning in Iran
Iran declared Thursday a day of mourning following the blasts for which no group has yet claimed responsibility.
The explosions came a day after an Israeli drone strike killed Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon’s capital Beirut amid fears war could soon spiral across the Middle East.
It’s not clear if the attack was authored by Tel Aviv.
This comes after statement from Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously vowed to cut ‘the head off the snake’ and launch a military attack against Iran after Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which is backed by Tehran, fired rockets at Israel.
Babak Yektaparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s emergency services, earlier told state media that 73 people had been killed and 170 injured but the toll was quickly bumped up to 103, with the number of casualties expected to rise further.