On January 3, a set of blasts occurred at the memorial site dedicated to the late Iranian top general, Qassim Suleimani, resulting in injuries to more than 20 individuals and claiming the lives of almost 100.
According to Iranian authorities who spoke to state media, the explosives were strategically planted at two distinct points along the route leading to Kerman’s cemetery. The officials clarified that the detonation took place as people were en route to the cemetery to mark the fourth anniversary of Suleimani’s passing.
As the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces, Suleimani held the primary leadership role within the coalition of Iranian-backed militias in the Middle East. This alliance has been responsible for various attacks against US troops in recent years. Suleimani met his end through a targeted drone strike carried out by the United States.
According to statements from Iranian authorities, it appears that the explosives were triggered remotely. Simultaneously, Rah-e-Arman-e-Kerman, an Iranian news agency, reported that a male eyewitness described the explosive as substantial. He mentioned that a significant number of the casualties were women and children.
After the occurrence, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, released a statement attributing the attack to Iran’s criminals and nefarious adversaries. Without specifying any particular country or foreign government, he emphasized the Iranian regime’s commitment to aiding the victims’ families. Khamenei asserted that global adversaries of the country should be aware that Tehran is prepared to deliver a robust response.
Initially, no entity claimed responsibility for the attack, leading certain members of the Iranian opposition to assert that the Iranian government itself was culpable. However, on Thursday, January 4, ISIS released a statement acknowledging their involvement in the explosions.