Iran arrests 11 suspects in bomb blasts that killed 90

NEW DELHI: In a solemn response to one of Iran’s deadliest attacks since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian security forces have arrested 11 suspects across six Iranian provinces linked to the bomb blasts in Kerman. The twin blast hit crowds at a memorial ceremony near the tomb of Qasem Soleimani, a top Revolutionary Guards general killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January 2020. The attack claimed nearly 90 lives on Wednesday.
The Islamic State militant group has taken responsibility for the attacks, marking a grim resurgence of violence in the region. A statement said two of IS members had “activated their explosive belts” in the middle of “a large gathering of apostates, near the grave of their leader”. The Iranian intelligence ministry said on Friday that “one of the suicide bombers” was “of Tajik nationality”, while the identity of the second attacker has not yet been established.
As the nation buried its dead, emotional scenes unfolded on state TV, with mourners weeping over coffins and chants of “revenge, revenge” echoing in the background. General Soleimani, assassinated in Iraq in 2020 by the US, had been a key figure in Iran’s military strategy, especially noted for his role against the Islamic State.
Soleimani was head of the Guards’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, before his death. He is celebrated in his country for his role in the fight against IS in neighbouring Iraq as well as in Syria.
(With Agency inputs)
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