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At least 50 killed in stampede at Soleimani’s funeral in Iran

Iranian people attend a funeral procession for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani,who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, at his hometown in Kerman, Iran.

Iranian people attend a funeral procession for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani,who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, at his hometown in Kerman, Iran.   | Photo Credit: Fars News Agency/West Asia News Agency/Reuters

The General was killed in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq.

A stampede broke out on January 7 at the funeral of a top Iranian General killed in a U.S. drone strike near the Baghdad airport in Iraq, leaving more than 50 people dead and many injured as huge crowds packed his hometown.

The tragedy in the southeastern city of Kerman came as Iran prepared to bury Revolutionary Guards Commander, Qassem Soleimani, a hugely popular figure in the Islamic republic. More than 50 people were killed and 212 people injured in the stampede, semi-official news agency ISNA said, citing officials in the southeastern city.

The streets of Kerman overflowed with mourners, while others took refuge on hillsides around the city, where the General was to be buried at the martyrs’ cemetery. Soleimani, the head of the Guards’ Quds Force foreign operations arm, was assassinated on Friday in a U.S. strikenear the Baghdad International Airport, an operation that shocked Iran.

Schoolgirls joined chants of “Death to Trump” from the crowd. 

Tuesday’s funeral comes after days of processions through the southwestern city of Ahvaz and the shrine cities of Qom and Mashhad as well as the capital Tehran.People converged from afar on Azadi Square, where two flag-draped coffins were on display, with the second one reportedly containing the remains of Soleimani’s closest aide, Brigadier General Hossein Pourjafari.

“We’re here today to pay respects to the great Commander of the holy defence,” said a mourner who came from the southern city of Shiraz.

Watch | Who was Qasem Soleimani?
 

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 7:05:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/35-killed-in-stampede-at-funeral-for-slain-general/article30502854.ece

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