At least 25 people have been killed and 40 others wounded in a series of explosions that occurred during an event commemorating the fourth anniversary of the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The senior Iranian official called the blasts a "terroristic" attack, but did not provide any details on who may be responsible. The incident took place near Soleimani's grave site in Kerman, about 820 kilometers southeast of Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in January 2020. He was considered the mastermind behind Iran's regional military activities and is regarded as a national hero by supporters of the country's theocracy. However, American officials saw him as a dangerous enemy during the Iraq war, responsible for supplying militants with deadly roadside bombs that targeted and harmed U.S. troops.
The attack on the event has been labeled as "terroristic" by Kerman's deputy governor, Rahman Jalali, although no further information has been provided. Several groups and state actors are considered potential culprits due to their hostile relationship with Iran, including exile groups, militant organizations, and state-sponsored actors. Iran has a history of supporting Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthi rebels.
It is worth noting that Gen. Soleimani's death has previously sparked large processions, with his funeral in 2020 resulting in a tragic stampede that claimed the lives of at least 56 people and left over 200 injured.
The situation remains tense amidst wider tensions in the Middle East, particularly due to ongoing conflicts involving Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Further investigations are underway to determine the exact details and perpetrators of this tragic event.