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People stand next to destroyed cars after an explosion in Kerman, Iran, yesterday. Alamy Stock Photo

Islamic State claims responsibility for twin Iran bombings that killed 84 people

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

THE ISLAMIC STATE jihadist group today claimed responsibility for twin bombings that yesterday killed 84 people in Iran.

In a statement on Telegram, the group said two of its members “activated their explosives vests” at a gathering near the grave in the southern city of Kerman of slain Revolutionary Guards general Qasem Soleimani.

The blasts ripped through crowds who had come to honour Soleimani, four years after a targeted US drone strike in Baghdad killed the veteran senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran is today observing a day of mourning for those killed.

The death toll was revised down from around 100 the day after what Iranian authorities labelled a “terrorist attack” that also wounded hundreds near Soleimani’s tomb in the southern city of Kerman.

Revising down the death toll, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told IRNA “the number of martyrs… has been announced as 84 so far.”

Iran’s emergency services chief Jafar Miadfar pointed to difficulties identifying dismembered bodies and said some victims were mistakenly counted “several times”.

He said 284 people were wounded and “195 are still hospitalised”.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday blamed “evil and criminal enemies” of the Islamic republic, without naming them, and vowed a “harsh response”.

President Ebrahim Raisi’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, Mohammad Jamshidi, had claimed on social media platform X that “the responsibility for this crime lies with the US and Zionist (Israeli) regimes, and terrorism is just a tool”.

However, the United States rejected any suggestion that it or its ally Israel were behind the bombings.

© AFP 2024