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Deadly Twin Blasts Rock Iran: Dozens Dead at Slain Commander’s Site

On Tuesday night, two explosions hit a religious procession in Kerman, in southern Iran, near the grave of slain Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, killing at least 32 people and wounding more than 100. The blasts occurred at the end of the evening as the huge throng was praising Soleimani at his funeral march.

Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January this year. In response, Iran targeted US military bases in Iraq and the jihadist use of the country’s own weapons to target Iranian forces in Syria further strained the already brittle relations between the two powers.

The bombs exploded as the crowd chanted slogans praising Soleimani and waved flags in his honor. Homemade sticks of dynamite were hurled into the crowd, according to state TV reports. It is not yet known who was behind the attack.

Alireza Chrome, the provincial governor, said the explosion targeted a VIP stage and was very likely “the work of terrorism.” He added that most of the wounds were minor. “Even so, the ugly terror incident was shocking and painful to us,” he said.

In an interview with state TV, Ali Asghar Mir sheikhi, the head of Kerman’s forensic department, said that 32 of the victims were killed instantly. He added that all the bodies had been taken to forensics departments and the state prosecutor was about to investigate the incident.

The Iranian government has yet to comment on the attack, which marks the latest in the wave of violence that has engulfed the nation since the assassination of Soleimani. The 40-year-old commander was a revered figure in the nation and his death has angered many Iranians, who have been looking for answers from their leaders.

The attack has sent shockwaves through the country. It is unclear who was behind the attack and why, but what is certain is that this is yet another tragedy for a nation grieving the loss of a deeply beloved leader and still reeling from heightened tensions between two powerful nations.

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