Over 35 people have been killed and more than 45 sustained injured in a stampede that erupted at a funeral procession for Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, who was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad, a state television reported.
The TV stated that the stampede erupted in Kerman, the hometown of Soleimani where the procession was underway on January 7th, 2020.
Soleimani was killed along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, an Iran-backed umbrella organisation comprising several militias in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport in Kerbala, Iraq.
Soleimani’s remains returned to Iran on January 5th, 2020 and were flown to the city of Ahvaz in the country’s southwest. He will be buried in Najaf.
The funeral of Soleimani was postponed following the stampede, emergency services told state media.
Following the killing of Soleimani by Washington in an airstrike, Iran has unfurled a red flag on top of the iconic The Holy Dome of Jamkaran Mosque in Qom, which is an old Shi’ite tradition symbolising bloody revenge.
US President Donald Trump had threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very fast and very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or US assets. Iran has vowed to avenge his killing. As per reports, it is the first time in the history of Iran that the red flag has been hoisted on top of the Jamkaran mosque.
Photo credit: @aliarouzi