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Iran blast: Scores killed in 'terrorist attack' at Qassem Soleimani's tomb

Two explosions in Iranian city of Kerman occurred during anniversary event for slain Iranian general, state media reported
A grab from a video released by state-run Iran Press news agency on 3 January 2024 shows ambulances leaving the site where two explosions struck in the southern Iranian city of Kerman (Iran Press/AFP)

At least 130 people have been killed in two explosions near the cemetery where former Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani is buried, according to local Iranian officials cited by state media.

"The incident is a terrorist attack," Rahman Jalali, the deputy governor of Kerman province, where Soleimani is buried, told state television on Wednesday.

The blasts occurred during a ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, who was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January 2020.

Iran's Tasnim news agency, quoting sources informed on the situation, said "two bags carrying bombs went off" at the site.

The report added that the perpetrators “apparently detonated the bombs by remote control”.

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The bombs exploded 10 minutes apart, the ISNA news agency said, quoting Kerman mayor Saeed Tabrizi.

One bomb exploded at a distance of about 700 meters from the grave, and the other at a distance of about a kilometre away.

Earlier on Wednesday, Nour News reported that "several gas canisters exploded on the road leading to the cemetery". 

"Our rapid response teams are evacuating the injured... But there are waves of crowds blocking roads," Reza Fallah, head of the Red Crescent chapter in the Kerman province told Iranian state television.

Footage and images on state broadcasters showed several ambulances and rescue teams at the scene of the blasts. 

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