Middle East

At least 53 killed in blasts near Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani’s grave

By Mostafa Salem, CNN

CNN  —  At least 53 people were killed Wednesday and 71 injured in the Iranian city of Kerman after twin blasts near the burial site of slain military commander Qasem Soleimani, in what officials called a terror attack, according to state media.

The first explosion was 700 meters away from Soleimani’s grave, and the second was a kilometer (0.6 miles) away as pilgrims visited the site, IRNA added.

Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike ordered by former President Donald Trump at Baghdad International Airport four years ago Wednesday.

IRNA cited the Deputy Governor for Political and Security saying it’s unclear if the “incident was caused by a gas explosion or a terrorist attack.”

Videos posted on Iranian state media showed large crowds running in the area after the explosion.

Formerly one of Iran’s most powerful men, Soleimani was head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, an elite unit that handles Iran’s overseas operations and was deemed to be a foreign terrorist organization by the US.

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