We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Vahid Salemi/PA/AP

Iranian president joins mourners for funerals of 85 people killed by IS bombings

Iranian authorities called for mass rallies after the funerals.

IRANIAN PRESIDENT EBRAHIM Raisi has joined mourners for the funerals of the 85 people killed in twin blasts claimed by the Islamic State group.

Suicide bombings struck crowds in the southern city, where many had gathered on Wednesday to commemorate Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Qasem Soleimani on the fourth anniversary of his death in a US drone strike.

The attack killed 85 people, state TV said, revising up an earlier toll following the death of one of the wounded.

The victims include “44 women and children” and at least a dozen Afghan nationals, it said.

“The funeral for the martyrs of the terrorist attack will take place at 10 am (6.30 am GMT) at the Emam Ali mosque in the city of Kerman,” state TV reported.

President Raisi was in Kerman “to attend the funerals and commemorate the martyrs” after also visiting Soleimani’s grave, the report said.

Iranian news agency Tasnim earlier reported that the dead will be buried in private funerals organised by their families, citing the governor of Kerman.

Iranian authorities called for mass rallies after the funerals and Friday prayers to protest the bombings.

In a statement published yesterday on Telegram, the Islamic State group said two of its members “activated their explosives vests” at the gathering.

Iranian investigators had already confirmed that the first blast at least was the work of a “suicide bomber” and believed the trigger for the second was “very probably another suicide bomber”, official news agency IRNA had reported earlier, citing an “informed source”.

A staunch enemy of the jihadist group, Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm, overseeing military operations across the Middle East.

© AFP 2023