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Iran vows revenge after blasts at Qassem Soleimani memorial kill nearly 100 people

Nearly 100 people were killed and several others injured after two blasts rocked a ceremony commemorating Commander Qassem Soleimani in Iran on Wednesday, news agency Reuters reported. Iranian officials said Soleimani was killed by a US drone in 2020, blaming unspecified “terrorists”. Following the blasts, Iran’s top official, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, vowed to avenge the bloody twin bombings.

“The brutal criminals… should know that they will now be dealt with strictly, and… there will undoubtedly be a harsh response,” Khamenei said in a statement quoted by Reuters, citing state media. Iran’s Health Minister Bahram Einolahi told state TV that the death toll had dropped from 103 to 95, and said 211 others were wounded, making it the deadliest attack in Iran’s history, according to Reuters. Have reported.

The first and then a second explosion 20 minutes later occurred during a fourth anniversary event at the cemetery where Soleimani was buried in the south-eastern city of Kerman, Reuters reported, citing Iranian state television. No one took responsibility for the blasts.

A senior United States government official said in Washington that the blasts appeared to resemble “terrorist attacks” carried out by Islamic State militants in the past, Reuters reported.

This “heinous and inhumane crime” was condemned by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

These attacks were also condemned by many countries including Russia and Türkiye. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for those responsible to be held accountable.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the US had no indication that Israel was behind the bombings. “Militants remotely detonated two explosive devices planted on the road leading to the Martyrs’ Cemetery of Kerman,” state news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed official as saying.

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