Reports from Iranian state media have detailed a tragic incident that unfolded on the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guards general, Qasem Soleimani. Two explosions rocked the vicinity of Soleimani’s tomb, claiming the lives of at least 73 individuals, according to the latest accounts.
The explosions, occurring during a ceremony near Kerman’s Saheb al-Zaman mosque, resulted in an additional 170 people sustaining injuries, as reported by the Associated Press. Confirming the nature of the explosions, the chief of emergency services in Kerman province attributed the devastation to explosive devices.
Kerman’s deputy governor described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” based on statements reported by local media. A distressing video circulating online appears to show multiple lifeless bodies strewn across the ground, further reflecting the severity of the situation.
The timing of the explosions coincided with hundreds of individuals heading towards the tomb to participate in a ceremony commemorating General Soleimani. Soleimani, known for his influential role as the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ overseas operations arm, the Quds Force, was assassinated in a US drone strike in neighboring Iraq in 2020.
Regarded as one of Iran’s most influential figures, second only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Soleimani held sway in shaping Iranian policies across the region. His oversight of clandestine missions, provision of guidance, funding, weaponry, intelligence, and logistical support to allied governments and armed groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, cemented his pivotal role.
The targeted killing of Soleimani in 2020, authorized by former US President Donald Trump, led to Soleimani being branded as “the foremost terrorist globally,” a label that has since stirred controversy and escalated tensions between nations.
The recent tragic events near Soleimani’s tomb have sent shockwaves through the region, prompting widespread concern and calls for further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the explosions.
The aftermath of this devastating incident serves as a stark reminder of the continuing volatility in the region and the precariousness of geopolitical tensions.