Two successive blasts killed over 100 and injured 170 in Iran on Wednesday’s fourth anniversary of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qasem Soleimani’s death.
According to Iranian state television, the blasts occurred during a ceremony commemorating the senior IRGC commander’s death in a United States drone strike at Baghdad airport in 2020, near the memorial site at a cemetery in the southern city of Kerman.
The death toll, which currently stands at 103, could rise as some of the injured are in very serious condition. Some members of the emergency medical services who were on their way to the scene after the first explosion lost their lives in the second blast, according to local media reports.
Iranian officials have given conflicting accounts of the nature of the incident. While the mayor of Kerman and some government-controlled media attributed the explosions to gas blasts, others claimed it was a suicide attack. Some officials alleged that bombs had been planted on the road leading to the cemetery.