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84 Killed and 248 Injured at Iranian General’s Commemoration Service

On Jan. 3rd, 84 Iranians were killed at a ceremony honoring the four year anniversary of  General Quasem Soleimani’s assassination by U.S. forces. This attack took place near Soleimani’s burial site in Kerman, southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran.

Soleimani served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was considered one of the most powerful men in Iran. In 2005, the United States designated him a terrorist and killed him by a drone strike in 2020. 

In the recent attack, two bombs were detonated minutes apart from one another amidst large crowds of people. This time gap was intentional, as it caused more civilian casualties, especially of emergency forces aiding those who were harmed. 

 Iranian officials promptly blamed Israel for carrying out the attack; however, a day later, ISIS (a Sunni Muslim militant group) claimed responsibility. It was reported that two Sunni twin brothers, wearing suicide vests, entered the crowd of Shiite mourners. 

ISIS issued a statement titled, “And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them,” justifying their attack and hatred of the IRGC. In a speech, an Islamic State spokesman also encouraged its supporters to kill Jews globally–suggesting that they should “barge into their homes and kill them using different methods including gunfire, bombs, grenades, and knives.”

 By contrast, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi condemned the attack and made it clear that the perpetrators will face extreme punishment. 

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