A terror attack in Iran has reportedly killed nearly 100 people who gathered at an event honoring former Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
According to The New York Post, thousands of people gathered at Soleimani’s gravesite in Kerman to mark the fourth anniversary of his death on Wednesday when the attack occurred. Those attending the event were carrying photos of the former general during the ceremony.
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 3, 2024
Iranian authorities say two bombs went off 15 minutes apart, leaving behind a significant number of casualties. According to Iranian national media reports, the first bomb went off just 700 meters from Soleimani’s grave while the second exploded around one kilometer from the site.
A senior White House official and local authorities in Iran confirmed that the attack was terror-related.
“The blasts were caused by terrorist attacks,” one Iranian official said. “Several gas canisters exploded on the road leading to the cemetery.”
A senior White House official revealed that the tactics used showed the blast was a terror attack.
“Just based on the MO, it does look like a terrorist attack. [It’s] a type of thing we’ve seen ISIS do in the past,” The white official said.
Officials also confirmed that the second explosion was a terror tactic meant to target first responders and increase the number of casualties. Both bombs were placed in a suitcase and detonated remotely.
Iran’s President Raisi Ebrahim, in a statement, vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Undoubtedly, the perpetrators … of this cowardly act will soon be identified and punished for their heinous act by the capable security and law enforcement forces,” Raisi said. “The enemies of the nation should know that such actions can never disrupt the solid determination of the Iranian nation.”
Local authorities first believed over a hundred people had died from the attack, with the head of Kerman’s emergency services telling state-run media Wednesday morning that the death toll was at 103. However, officials later realized that there were repeat names on a list of victims and revised the death toll figure to 95. The death toll could still rise, with many of the 211 injured victims in critical condition.
"It does not look like Israel did this attack."@MickMulroy weighs in on the blast in Iran that killed more than 90 people at an event honoring a prominent Iranian general slain by the U.S. in a 2020 drone strike. pic.twitter.com/I8BMigFf5L
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 3, 2024