Iran revises death toll of twin blasts to 95

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 04, 2024 IST

Bahram Einollahi, Iran, General Qassem Soleimani

Tehran, Jan 4: Iranian Health Minister Bahram Einollahi has revised the death toll of two explosions near the burial site of Iran's slain General Qassem Soleimani from 103 to 95.

In a live interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) on Wednesday, the minister said the previous higher figures resulted from mistakenly calculating some of the victims' names twice, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mohammad Saberi, head of Kerman's emergency organization, also confirmed the lower death toll, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

The blasts occurred with an almost 20-minute difference at around 15:00 local time as many people gathered at the cemetery in the southeastern city of Kerman to mark the fourth anniversary of Soleimani's death in a US drone strike.

The first blast was about 700 meters from Soleimani's tomb, and the second was a kilometre away, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported.

Rahman Jalali, Deputy Governor of Kerman province, said the explosions were carried out by "terrorists", the IRNA reported.

The IRINN said the cause of the blasts was still under investigation and that rescue teams were at the scene. It added that most of the injuries were caused by overcrowding and panic.

The Iranian government has declared Thursday a day of national mourning.

Soleimani, one of the most powerful military commanders in Iran, was killed on January 3, 2020, near Baghdad's international airport in a drone strike ordered by then-US President Donald Trump.

He was buried in his hometown of Kerman after a funeral that drew millions of mourners across Iran. Iran denounced the assassination as "state terrorism" and vowed revenge.

(IANS)

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