More than 100 individuals have lost their lives in explosions during a commemorative event for a slain Iranian commander.

Two explosions have resulted in the death of at least 103 individuals and the injury of many others during a commemorative ceremony in Kerman, Iran, marking the fourth anniversary of the US assassination of Qassem Suleimani, a prominent figure in the Middle East and the leader of Iran’s Quds Force.

A high-ranking official referred to the explosions as a “terroristic” attack, without providing further details about the potential perpetrators.

Witnesses reported two explosions occurring with a 10-minute interval in the city of Kerman, located in the south-central region. Some accounts even mentioned four separate explosions, indicating a highly sophisticated assault.

According to Irna news, the initial explosion took place approximately 700 meters away from Suleimani’s burial site, while the second explosion occurred one kilometer away.

Babak Yektaparast, a spokesperson for Iran’s emergency service, stated, as per state-run media, that 73 people had died and 170 others had sustained injuries. However, state television later raised the death toll to 103.

Initially, local authorities were uncertain whether the explosions were caused by gas canisters or suicide bombers. Subsequently, officials confirmed that the blasts were the result of two remotely detonated bombs, classifying the incident as an act of terrorism.

The explosions transpired on the roads leading to Golzar Shohada, the Garden of Martyrs cemetery in Kerman. Besides Suleimani, the cemetery is the final resting place for 1,024 individuals considered martyrs and has evolved into a pilgrimage site for supporters of the “axis of resistance” against the US and the Western world.

Suleimani was killed in 2020 via a US drone strike in Baghdad and was renowned for his command of Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and Syria.

Currently, it remains unclear whether the apparent attack originated from a domestic group or a group affiliated with Israel.

Not long ago, Iran declared that it had dismantled a Mossad-backed organization, the clandestine intelligence agency of Israel.

A representative from the Kerman province accused Israel of perpetrating the crime, making it the first elected official to make such an assertion. Separately, Kianush Jahanpur, former spokesman for Iran’s health ministry, stated on social media, “The answer to this crime should only be in Tel Aviv, Haifa.”

Several analysts find it unusual for Israel to conduct an indiscriminate attack on civilians without targeting high-level military objectives, which deviates from their previously observed patterns of behavior within Iran. Israel seldom comments on international operations.

In a separate incident on December 25th, an Israeli airstrike in Syria led to the death of a prominent commander within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), prompting Tehran to issue threats of retaliation against Israel.

The commander, Razi Mousavi, was identified by Iranian state media as a senior adviser of the Quds Force and was reportedly killed in an airstrike near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Israel has previously conducted targeted assassinations of nuclear scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program.

Hospitals in Kerman and surrounding areas have been placed on alert to provide medical treatment to the wounded.

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