Islamic State claims responsibility for twin blasts in Iran that killed over 100 | World News - Hindustan Times
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Islamic State claims responsibility for twin blasts in Iran that killed over 100 people

Jan 04, 2024 10:14 PM IST

The group posted the statement on its affiliate Telegram channels.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for the dual explosions in Iran that resulted in nearly 100 fatalities and numerous injuries during a memorial event for the late commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone in Iraq in 2020.

People gather near a body lying on the ground at the scene of explosions during a ceremony held to mark the death of late Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.(via REUTERS)
People gather near a body lying on the ground at the scene of explosions during a ceremony held to mark the death of late Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.(via REUTERS)

Through a statement posted on its affiliated Telegram channels, the Sunni Muslim extremist group asserted that two of its members had triggered explosive belts within the crowd gathered at the cemetery in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman on Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of Soleimani's death.

Tehran had earlier attributed the explosions to "terrorists" and vowed retaliation for what has been described as the deadliest attacks since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The twin blasts caused injuries to 284 individuals, including women and children.

READ | Over 100 dead in Iran blasts near Qasem Soleimani's grave: ‘Cowardly act’

An unidentified source informed the state news agency IRNA that the initial explosion at the cemetery in Kerman, Soleimani's hometown, was likely caused by a suicide bomber. The cause of the second blast was presumed to be similar, according to the same source.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning the "cowardly terrorist attack" in Kerman and expressed condolences to the victims' families and the Iranian government. Mass protests have been called for on Friday, coinciding with the funerals of the victims. The Revolutionary Guards Corps denounced the attacks as a cowardly act aiming to create insecurity and retaliate against the nation's deep loyalty to the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi too condemned the “heinous and inhumane crime”.

READ | Deadliest since 1979 Islamic revolution, what we know about 2 blasts in Iran

In 2022, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on a Shi'ite shrine in Iran, resulting in 15 deaths. Previous attacks attributed to Islamic State include twin bombings in 2017 targeting Iran's parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The United States denied involvement in the explosions and stated it had no reason to believe Israel was implicated. The U.S. characterized the blasts as a "terrorist attack" consistent with those previously carried out by Islamic State.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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