Over 100 killed in attacks on ceremony for Iranian slain general

ARCHIV: Trauernde bei einer Prozession und Begrabung des durch eines Drohnenangriffs der USA getöteten iranischen Generals Qassem Soleimani in seiner Heimatstadt Kerman, Iran. Foto am 07. Januar 2020 gemacht. Mehdi Bolourian/Fars News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

State-run media in Iran reported Wednesday that explosions at an event commemorating a prominent general killed in a 2020 U.S. airstrike resulted in at least 100 deaths and 140 injuries.

Mohammad Saberi, head of Kerman emergency services, provided the casualty figures to the IRNA news agency.

The blasts occurred during a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of Gen. Qassim Soleimani’s death. Soleimani, who led the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in January 2020. The incident took place near his gravesite in Kerman, approximately 820 kilometers (510 miles) southeast of Tehran.

The cause of the explosions is not yet clear. Some injuries reportedly occurred as people fled the scene.

Soleimani, known for his role in shaping Iran’s regional military strategy, is regarded as a national hero by supporters of Iran’s theocracy. His death has previously drawn large crowds, with a stampede at his 2020 funeral resulting in at least 56 deaths and over 200 injuries among mourners.