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Iran’s twin blasts claim 73 lives, dozens injured

Twin deadly blasts claimed at least 73 lives, while more than 170 were injured on Wednesday. The incident is a suspected terrorist attack.

The two blasts happened near the burial ground of Iran’s late commander, Qassem Soleimani, in the Southwestern province of Kerman, about 820 kilometers (510 miles) Southeast of the capital, Tehran, reported the semi-official Fars news agency, citing Iran’s emergency organisation.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), the blasts occurred in an underpass one kilometer away from the burial ground, with the first one which was heard at 15:04 local time (1134 GMT), and the second one a few minutes later at 15:17, as people were paying homage to the late commander on his fourth assassination anniversary, the IRINN added.

No group had immediately claimed the responsibility for what Iranian state media called a “terroristic” attack.

While Israel has carried out attacks in Iran over its nuclear program, it has conducted targeted assassinations, not mass-casualty bombings. Sunni extremist groups, including the Islamic State group, have conducted large-scale attacks in the past that killed civilians in Shiite-majority Iran – though not in relatively peaceful Kerman, reports Associated Press adding that Iranian state television quoted Babak Yektaparast, a spokesman for the country’s emergency services, for the casualty figure.

According to the report, the cause of the blasts has not been established yet, and rescue teams have been sent to the scene adding that most of the injuries had been sustained due to overcrowding and people’s panicking.

Qassem Soleimani, who was then considered the most celebrated and eminent military commander, was killed by the USA on 3 January 2020 in a drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

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