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Iran says 2 explosions have killed over 100 people honoring an assassinated general

A scene after deadly explosions near the tomb of assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in Kerman, Iran, on Wednesday.
Anadolu via Getty Images
A scene after deadly explosions near the tomb of assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in Kerman, Iran, on Wednesday.

Updated January 3, 2024 at 3:22 PM ET

Two explosions in southeastern Iran have killed more than 100 people and injured over 210, according to Iran's state media, which said Iranian officials called the blasts a "terrorist attack."

Iranian news outlets said the blasts struck 10 minutes apart in the city of Kerman around a ceremony marking the anniversary of the killing of a prominent Iranian military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

What specifically cause of the explosions remains unclear. No group claimed responsibility.

"Undoubtedly, the perpetrators and those who ordered this cowardly act will soon be identified and punished for their heinous act by the capable security and law enforcement forces," Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said.

"The incident took place in Kerman Martyrs Cemetery where thousands of people were observing the fourth martyrdom anniversary of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani," Iran's Mehr News Agency wrote on social media.

Soleimani, who was the head of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, in January 2020.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Peter Kenyon is NPR's international correspondent based in Istanbul, Turkey.