Fifty-four people have been killed and 48 others injured as stampede erupted at Tuesday’s funeral procession for the revered Iranian general, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who killed in a US airstrike last week.
According to the report, the stampede took place in Kerman, the hometown of Revolutionary Guard leader Gen Qassem Soleimani, as the procession got underway. Initial videos posted online showed people lying lifeless on a road, others shouting and trying to help them.
“Unfortunately as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” he said. A procession in Tehran on Monday drew over one million people in the Iranian capital, crowding both main thoroughfares and side streets in Tehran.
Soleimani’s death has sparked calls across Iran for revenge against America for a slaying that’s drastically raised tensions across the Middle East. Early Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard threatened to “set ablaze” places supported by the United States over the killing of the top Iranian general in a US airstrike last week, sparking cries from the crowd of supporters of “Death to Israel!”
Hossein Salami made the pledge before a crowd of thousands gathered in a central square in Kerman before a casket carrying Soleimani’s remains. The outpouring of grief was an unprecedented honour for a man viewed by Iranians as a national hero for his work leading the Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force. The US blames him for the killing of American troops in Iraq and accused him of plotting new attacks just before his death on Friday in a drone strike near Baghdad’s airport.
Soleimani also led forces in Syria backing President Bashar Assad in a long war, and he also served as the pointsman for Iranian proxies in countries like Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.
Khameini prays over casket
At the funeral service were Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who prayed over the caskets of the top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani and others killed in a U.S. airstrike near the Baghdad airport last week. There were all laid to rest as martyrs of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The general’s successor, Easmail Ghaani and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other top leaders in the Islamic Republic were all present at the funeral to bid Soleimani farewell.
The “premeditated murder of Qassem #Soleimani has brought the Iranian people together, not just in Iran, but around the world in a way that no other action has ever done.”
The tears of Imam Khamenei as he leads the funeral prayers of Martyrs #Soleimani, & AbuMahdi who were assassinated by the US.
These tears indicate a harsh revenge ( the annihilation of the savage US, and Zionist regimes) in the near future, God willing.pic.twitter.com/o73AqPMZMy
— Brave (@Brave_313) January 6, 2020