Explosions occurred during a memorial event for Qassim Suleimani, the former top military general killed by a U.S. drone strike four years ago. At least 103 people were reported dead, and 171 others were wounded in the twin blasts near Suleimani’s tomb in Kerman, Iran.
The explosions, believed to be a terrorist attack, resulted in widespread chaos and devastation. Iranian officials stated that the bombs, concealed in bags along the procession route, were remotely detonated, causing severe injuries and leaving the death toll likely to rise.
The incident heightened regional tensions following a prior explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, that claimed the lives of several Hamas officials. Videos and photos depicting the aftermath showed scenes of carnage, with injured individuals, including children, amidst the chaos, pleading for help.
Moments before the explosions, videos captured a dense crowd of thousands walking along a road adorned with food and drink stalls, surrounded by flags, as a prayer from the Quran resonated from speakers.
The peaceful scene abruptly transformed when a massive blast shook the area, triggering a chaotic response. The air filled with screams, and people scattered in all directions, as depicted in videos.
“Unfortunately, many of the injured people are in critical condition,” stated Babak Yektaparast, the spokesperson for the country’s emergency relief operations.
He further noted that all medical facilities in the province of Kerman were on standby to provide treatment, and emergency airplanes were being deployed for medical evacuations to hospitals in Tehran.
Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, the head of Iran’s judiciary, announced that all of the nation’s intelligence, security, and military entities were mobilized to identify the perpetrators of the explosions.
Iran’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, conveyed to state television that the majority of casualties resulted from the second explosion, occurring minutes after the first, as crowds had assembled to aid the injured.
Vahidi assured that the security and military forces had gained control of the situation in the city of Kerman.
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